Abortion education in the medical curriculum: a survey of student attitudes

Contraception. 2008 Mar;77(3):205-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2007.11.011. Epub 2008 Jan 18.


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate student attitudes toward the inclusion of abortion education in the preclinical and clinical medical school curriculum.

Study design: All students completing the OB-GYN rotation from May 2004 through January 2005 (n=118) were asked to complete a 21-item survey. Survey questions focused on students' attitudes about the appropriateness of abortion education, reasons for participation or nonparticipation in the abortion care experiences in the clinical curricula and the value of abortion education.

Results: One hundred students completed the survey for a response rate of 85%. Nearly all respondents indicated that abortion education was appropriate in the preclinical and clinical curricula (96%). Fifty-three percent of students participated in a clinical abortion care experience. The majority of these students rated it as valuable (84%) and would recommend it to a friend (73%). Most students who planned a career in Family Medicine and OB-GYN preferred the integration of abortion training into the residency curriculum (74%).

Conclusions: Abortion education is acceptable and valued by medical students and should be integrated into the curricula of all medical schools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / education*
  • Abortion, Induced / psychology
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Clerkship
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Program Evaluation
  • Students, Medical / psychology*