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Jazzing up Family Planning Education for Students in a Texas Medical School

Purpose: To determine the effects of resident-led family planning education during the third-year obstetrics and gynecology clerkship on medical student knowledge and/or attitudes. 

Background: Many medical school clerkship directors report that formal family planning education is not offered. Students are more likely to be comfortable referring and providing reproductive health services when exposed to formal education.

Methods: Medical students during their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship at McGovern Medical School during the 2017-2018 academic year were given a de-identified quiz and survey at the beginning and end of their rotation. Half of the students participated in a resident-led one-hour didactic session on family planning while half did not. Data was analyzed using chi-squared test for categorical variables. 

Results: Pre-rotation, students had low baseline scores on a family planning quiz (48.0% intervention group (I) vs. 49.0% no intervention (NI) group, p=0.51). A formal educational initiative significantly improved scores on the quiz (58.2% I vs. 50.7% NI, p<0.0001).Students’ pre-rotation attitudes about women obtaining a second trimester abortion under any circumstance showed that 17% disagreed. After the educational intervention, fewer students agreed with women having access to second trimester abortion under circumstances such as rape, incest or fetal anomalies (69.2% I vs 88.4% NI, p=0.0049). 

Discussions: Although the intervention improved knowledge, students were not more likely to report comfort providing family planning services in their future practice. Students’ attitudinal bias against ACOG-supported access to abortion in the second trimester paradoxically increased. Further studies are needed to elucidate barriers to improving knowledge and attitudes about reproductive health.

Topics: Contraception or Family Planning, UME, Medical Knowledge, Residency Director, Clerkship Director, Faculty, Resident, 2019, CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting,

General Information

Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Residency Director,
Medical Knowledge,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,

Author Information

Patricia Vowels, MD, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Han-Yang Chen, PhD; Sara Holcombe, DO; Cristina Wallace Huff, MD

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