The association between abortion training and obstetrics and gynecology resident competence and intention to provide abortion care before Dobbs

Jema K. Turk, Jody E. Steinauer, Nikki Zite, Tony Ogburn, Sarah Horvath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To assess the role of abortion training in fourth-year obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) residents’ abortion care competence and practice intentions before the Dobbs decision. Study design: This is a planned secondary analysis of survey data of fourth-year U.S. OBGYN residents. Abortion training was defined as ‘routine’ if automatically included in schedules, ‘‘optional’’ if not scheduled but available, and ‘‘not available’’. Self-assessed competence was defined as feeling prepared to independently provide care. Participants were asked about their competence and post-residency intentions to provide specific aspects of pregnancy loss and induced abortion care. Results: Of 1241 fourth-year residents, 885 (71%) completed the questions of interest. For each skill, more residents with routine training reported competence compared to those with less comprehensive training. More residents with routine training reported intentions to include abortion care in practice (422, 79%) compared to residents with optional (171, 66%) or no training (51, 55%), p < 0.001). Residents with routine training were nearly six times more likely to intend to provide medication abortion post-residency compared to residents without training; more residents in all groups reported intentions to provide care for pregnancy loss compared to abortion. Conclusions: Pre-Dobbs, residents with routine abortion training had greater self-assessed competence in abortion care than those with optional or no training and were more likely to intend to provide this after residency. Given the evolving impacts of the 2022 reversal of Roe v Wade, residency training programs must work to ensure routine access to legally permissible abortion training as routine training is associated with intention to provide fundamental, reproductive healthcare. Implications: Routine training in abortion care during OBGYN residency is associated with higher competence and intention to provide post-residency – availability of this training Is severely compromised in restricted states post-Dobbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110358
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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