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Breaking the Cycle of Trauma for Patients: Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care into Medical Education

Purpose: To determine the benefit of incorporating trauma-informed care training into the medical student Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN) clerkship curriculum.


Background: 1 in 3 U.S. women experience sexual- or gender-based violence, thus ACOG recommends universal screening for sexual assault and utilizing a trauma-informed care framework. Several medical specialties have implemented resident training for trauma-informed care; but, it is unclear how to provide this training for medical students. We hypothesized that students would benefit from one hour of didactic training on trauma-informed care.


Methods: Participants were medical students completing an OBGYN clerkship at a single institution. A single instructor conducted all didactic training sessions. A pre- and post-training 7-point Likert scale survey was administered to assess student preparedness in obtaining a gynecologic and sexual assault history and training effectiveness. At the end of the OBGYN clerkship, another survey was given to assess long-term training efficacy.


Results: 27 students participated and 18 (67%) had prior experience working with trauma-exposed patients. Before the training, students felt moderately (avg score 4) prepared to obtain a gynecologic history, but only somewhat (avg score 3) prepared to discuss a sexual assault history. Immediately post training, students felt moderately prepared to perform both and to provide trauma-focused interventions, which was again indicated at the end of their clerkship.


Discussions: Our results demonstrate that short didactic training can improve medical student preparedness to provide trauma-focused interventions. Despite the sensitive topic matter, students found practical instruction at the beginning of their clerkship to be useful and continued to feel prepared after completing the clerkship.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2021, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Patient Care, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME, UME, Team-Based Learning, General Ob-Gyn, Sexuality,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Patient Care,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Team-Based Learning,
Clinical Focus
General Ob-Gyn,Sexuality,

Author Information

Kathy Jorda, MD, Oregon Health & Science University; Erin McCreary; Jamie Lo, MD

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