Twenty Years of the Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning

Contraception. 2021 May;103(5):305-309. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2020.12.009. Epub 2020 Dec 24.


Objective: To summarize the effects of routine, opt-out abortion and family planning residency training on obstetrics and gynecology (ob-gyn) residents' clinical skills in uterine evacuation and intentions to provide abortion care after residency.

Methods: Data from ob-gyn residency programs supported during the first 20 years of the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning were analyzed. Postrotation surveys assessed residents' training experiences and acquisition of abortion care skills. Residency program director surveys assessed benefits of the training to residents and the academic department from the educators' perspectives.

Results: A total of 2775 residents in 89 ob-gyn programs completed postrotation surveys for a response rate of 72%. During the rotation, residents - including those who only partially participated - gained exposure to and skills in first- and second-trimester abortion care. Sixty-one percent intended to provide abortion care in their postresidency practice. More than 90% of residency program directors (97.5% response rate) reported that training improved resident competence in abortion and contraception care and 81.3% reported that the training increased their own program's appeal to residency applicants.

Conclusion: Over 20 years, the Ryan Program has supported programs to integrate abortion training to give ob-gyn residents the skills and inspiration to provide comprehensive reproductive health care, including uterine evacuation and abortion care, in future practice. Residency program directors noted that this integrated training meets resident applicants' expectations.

Implications: Ryan Program residents are trained to competence and are prepared, both clinically and in their professional attitudes, to care for women's reproductive health.

Keywords: Abortion; Family planning; Residency; Training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Gynecology* / education
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Obstetrics* / education
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires