Integrating abortion training into family medicine residency programs

Fam Med. 2007 May;39(5):337-42.


Background and objectives: Family physicians provide many office-based procedures in primary care settings. While first-trimester abortion is a procedure appropriate for and performed by family physicians, few residency programs offer routine training in this skill. This study explored the experience of residency programs that have initiated or are in the process of initiating required abortion training.

Methods: Faculty members responsible for abortion training curricula in identified programs completed questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.

Results: Faculty members from nine programs with required training and seven programs interested in initiating this training were included in the study. Factors that assisted in curriculum development included the support of family medicine and obstetrician-gynecologist faculty. Commonly encountered challenges included the need for dedicated resources, inter-specialty conflict, and limited access to training sites.

Conclusions: Family medicine programs can be successful at developing required abortion training. Collaboration with colleagues inside and outside the family medicine department and with receptive training sites will benefit programs interested in such.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / education*
  • Abortion, Induced / methods
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Curriculum / statistics & numerical data
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Interdepartmental Relations
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States