This study assessed the impact of formal, opt-out family planning training on the clinical experience and intentions to include abortion care after residency among obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) residents at currently funded Ryan Programs.
The Ryan Program (RP) has supported 99 US and Canadian ob-gyn residency programs to establish routine opt-out training in family planning and abortion. In this analysis we report on clinical experience and post-residency plans reported by residents after the family planning training at RPs in the last five years. Data were collected using Key Survey and descriptive analyses were conducted with STATA. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of California San Francisco.
Between September 2013 and 2018, 1,254 post-rotation surveys were completed by residents for a response rate of 70%. Residents did an average of 38 abortions on the rotation, including the 18% who opted out of portions of the training: 8 medication abortions, 11 manual uterine aspirations, 14 electric uterine aspirations, and 6 dilation and evacuations. When asked about their post-residency plans, 82% intend to do abortions for medical reasons and 59% for all reasons.
Participation in a formal, opt-out family planning rotation resulted in significant clinical exposure to abortion procedures and plans to provide abortions after residency. Studies of ob-gyn residents between 1996 and 2014 have found that 30-40% planned to provide abortions after residency, suggesting that routine training is associated with plans to integrate abortion into obstetrics and gynecology practice.