Routine Abortion Training Benefits Residents.
Residents at programs with routine training are more likely to be competent in abortion care, including 1st-trimester medication and aspiration abortion and 2nd-trimester dilation and evacuation, and in all aspects of early pregnancy loss care.
Routine abortion training also allows residents to develop important skills for caring for patients in other common clinical circumstances. These include counseling, contraception care, early pregnancy loss care, pain management in procedures, uterine examination, ultrasound, diagnosis and management of early pregnancy loss and fetal demise, and preventing and managing rare abortion complications.
Residents who receive routine abortion training are more likely to provide comprehensive reproductive health care after graduation, including pregnancy options counseling, abortion referrals, abortion care, and comprehensive early pregnancy loss care.
Routine Training Benefits Teaching Hospitals.
In addition to compliance with ACGME requirements, the establishment of a Ryan Program supports departments to improve patient care through the integration of evidence-based and patient-centered practices such as office-based manual vacuum aspiration. Integrated abortion training attracts residency applicants who want to learn these important clinical skills. The expanded care and training lay the foundation for programs to become a Complex Family Planning Fellowship site.
Residents Want Routine Abortion Training.
Ob-gyn residents think that training is important. Residency program directors report that 82% of residents rank the family planning rotation higher than other rotations, and Ryan-affiliated residencies report the affiliation has a positive influence on resident recruitment.
A 2021 study found that 87% of ob-gyn residents with routine abortion training were satisfied with their family planning training. Only 40% of those in programs with optional training were satisfied, and 10% of residents with no training were satisfied.
The Value of Partial Participation
In accordance with ACGME guidelines, residents with religious or moral objections may opt out of training in or performing induced abortions.
The vast majority of residents fully participate in family planning training. Some choose to opt out of portions of the rotation, but most of these residents participate in many or most clinical care activities. We now refer to residents who opt out of portions of training as “partially participating residents”.
Partially participating residents learn many skills necessary and relevant to ob-gyn practice. On the family planning rotation partially participating residents gain:
- Clinical skills and medical knowledge in contraception care; early pregnancy loss care; uterine aspiration for abortion or early pregnancy loss, and in emergency settings; contraception, pregnancy options, and abortion counseling; management of early pregnancy loss and rare abortion complications, and pre- and post- abortion care.
- Ability to provide patient-centered care, including higher confidence in interacting with patients facing unintended pregnancy, improved communication skills, and increased sensitivity to patients’ needs.
- Supportive attitudes about abortion, including greater empathy for people who have abortions and increased respect for abortion care providers.
In our evaluation of partially participating residents, even though some were initially reluctant to participate, all valued what they gained from family planning training.
Find out more:
- Benefits of Routine Abortion Training (download)
- Benefits of Partial Participation (download)
- Twenty Years of the Ryan Residency Training Program in Abortion and Family Planning
- Join the Ryan Program community through our new Ryan Program Designation and Ryan Program Development Site initiatives.