Every spring since 2007, the Reproductive Health Access Project has surveyed graduating 3rd year family medicine residents who have received abortion training. The survey helps us connect with and support newly trained family physicians and build our Family Medicine Reproductive Health Network. Network members receive technical assistance from us to integrate reproductive health into their primary care settings. The Network also serves as safe, welcoming community of pro-choice health care providers who support one another.
In the spring of 2013 we sent our annual survey to 211 graduating 3rd year residents at 25 residency programs across the United States and received responses from 112 residents (53%). The survey asked residents what reproductive health skills they were trained in, if they feel competent in those skills, and whether or not they intend to provide the service in their clinical practice. This year 63% of residents surveyed said they plan on providing abortion care and 88% plan to use their skills to manage early pregnancy loss.
We have learned that it often takes more than just clinical training to be able to provide comprehensive reproductive health care. A total of 85 residents asked RHAP for support in providing abortion, contraception and miscarriage care in their future clinical practices. Just what kind of support do these want? Sixty clinicians want additional clinical training (54%), 41 want hands-on support setting up abortion care in their practice (37%), 44 requested to be connecting with a local clinician mentor (39%), and 39 want to join RHAP’s advocacy efforts (35%). We are now connecting all these new graduates to our clinical tools and resources and pairing those seeking a mentor with an experienced clinician from our Family Medicine Reproductive Health Network.
RHAP is currently working on next year’s survey of graduating family medicine residents. Just email us if you want to know more about our survey, the findings and our work to expand reproductive health training in family medicine.