Perceptions of family planning and abortion education at a faith-based medical school

Contraception. 2011 Nov;84(5):520-4. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.03.003. Epub 2011 Apr 15.


Background: Because of religious beliefs against contraception and abortion, family planning education is limited at faith-based institutions. The purpose of this study was to assess medical students' satisfaction with family planning education at a faith-based medical school.

Study design: A self-administered anonymous questionnaire was designed and distributed to all second- and fourth-year students (n=273) at a faith-based medical school during the 2008-2009 academic year. The questionnaire included items on adequacy of and preference for amount and content of family planning preclinical education and clinical training.

Results: A total of 220 students completed the questionnaire for a response rate of 80.6%. The majority of respondents described the preclinical education as inadequate and preferred increased content on contraception (73.9%), sterilization (68.6%) and abortion (65.2%). The majority of fourth-year students reported appropriate contraceptive clinical training (69.0%), but inadequate sterilization training (54.8%) and abortion training (71.4%) during their third-year OB/GYN clerkship. Approximately half of fourth-year students (51.8%) desired clinical abortion training.

Conclusion: The majority of students enrolled at a faith-based medical school rated their current family planning education as inadequate and desired additional opportunities.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Adult
  • Contraception*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Family Planning Services / education*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Religious*
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Program Evaluation
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult