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Unpaved Road Ahead: Intent Towards Abortion Provision Amongst Matched Fourth Year Medical Students

Purpose: To evaluate the attitudes of matched fourth year medical students (MS4s) to obstetric and gynecology (OB/GYN) residencies towards provision of abortion services.


Background: Students matching to OB/GYN have varying exposure to abortion care. Understanding trainees’ attitudes towards providing abortion may help inform educational needs in the face of new legal challenges.


Methods: MS4s enrolling in an interactive, text-based, post-match residency preparatory curriculum in 2021 and 2022 were asked whether they plan to provide abortion services, and whether they felt they had matched to a program that would support their anticipated practice. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data. Because the questions were optional and anonymously aggregated, no associative information could be obtained.


Results: 1520 individuals completed the #OBGynInternChallenge over a two-year period. 930 (61.2%) answered at least one of two questions regarding abortion. The majority (586/930, 63.0%) desired to provide full-spectrum abortion services; only 70/930 (7.5%) indicated they would not provide abortion. Students overall felt that their matched programs would offer opportunities that aligned with their values and anticipated practice (643/886,  72.6%). 16.6% (147/886) were uncertain about their program. 10.8% (96/886) did not feel their program would support their values.


Discussions: Over 60% of MS4s entering OB/GYN residencies in our large sample expressed intent to provide abortion services. 75% felt their matched institution would support their anticipated practice. Additional research should explore factors associated with perceived uncertainty or lack of support by institutions regarding residents’ choice regarding abortion provision.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2023, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Patient Care, GME, UME, Advocacy, Contraception or Family Planning,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,
Patient Care,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,

Author Information


R. Nicholas Burns, MD, FACOG; University of Washington; Fei Cai, MD; Elizabeth Southworth, MD; Sarah Santiago, MD; Emily Fay, MD; Alyssa Stephenson-Famy, MD

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