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Family Planning Training at Catholic and Other Faith-based Obstetrics and Gynecology Programs

Purpose: To evaluate family planning training at obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) residency programs that primarily train at restrictive religious hospitals.

Background: Catholic and other religious hospitals face institutional family planning care restrictions, which are in conflict with the training requirements set forth by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

Methods: We identified 30 ACGME accredited OB-GYN residency programs in which at least 70% of resident time is in restrictive, faith-based hospitals.   We queried program representatives about training using an online survey and follow-up telephone interview. 

Results: We had an 80% survey response rate.  The majorities were program directors (83%), represented Catholic hospitals (75%), and completed telephone interviews (71%). Programs often relied on other sites to accomplish contraceptive (33%), sterilization (71%), and abortion (88%) training. All programs reported adequate training in reversible contraception.  58% reported inadequate sterilization training, most commonly in postpartum and hysteroscopic sterilizations.  67% reported inadequate abortion training, most commonly in D&E.  Approximately half (54%) offered ‘routine’ and 13% did not offer any abortion training.  Eight programs (33%) received a total of ten Residency Review Committee citations due to insufficient family planning training, and most of these programs (71%) reported using these citations to gain institutional support for off-site training. 

Discussions: While Catholic and other faith-based OB-GYN residency training programs have developed strategies in response to institutional restrictions, many report ongoing deficiencies and half remain noncompliant with abortion training requirements. Residency Review Committee citations, however, provided an opportunity for programs to leverage support for comprehensive training. 

Topics: Contraception or Family Planning, GME, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Patient Care, Residency Director, Resident, 2019, CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting,

General Information

Resident,Residency Director,
Patient Care,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,

Author Information

Maryam Guiahi, MD, MSc, University of Colorado; Stephanie Teal, MD, MPH; Kimberly Kenton, MD, MS; Julie DeCesare, MD; Jody Steinauer, MD, MAS

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