Abortion training in Canadian obstetrics and gynecology residency programs
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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the current state of abortion training in Canadian Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs. STUDY DESIGN: Surveys were distributed to all Canadian Obstetrics and Gynecology residents and program directors. Data were collected on inclusion of abortion training in the curriculum, structure of the training and expected competency of residents in various abortion procedures. RESULTS: We distributed and collected surveys between November 2014 and May 2015. In total, 301 residents and 15 program directors responded, giving response rates of 55% and 94%, respectively. Based on responses by program directors, half of the programs had "opt-in" abortion training, and half of the programs had "opt-out" abortion training. Upon completion of residency, 66% of residents expected to be competent in providing first-trimester surgical abortion in an ambulatory setting, and 35% expected to be competent in second-trimester surgical abortion. Overall, 15% of residents reported that they were not aware of or did not have access to abortion training within their program, and 69% desired more abortion training during residency. CONCLUSION: Abortion training in Canadian Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs is inconsistent, and residents desire more training in abortion. This suggests an ongoing unmet need for training in this area. Policies mandating standardized abortion training in obstetrics and gynecology residency programs are necessary to improve delivery of family planning services to Canadian women. IMPLICATIONS: Abortion training in Canadian Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs is inconsistent, does not meet resident demand and is unlikely to fulfill the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada objectives of training in the specialty.
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