Understanding Ob/Gyn residents’ decisions to train in and intentions to provide abortion services
Abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States with half of all pregnancies being unintended and half of those pregnancies terminated. In 2005, 1.21 million abortions were performed. Despite the tremendous need for abortion care, there is a growing shortage of abortion providers as fewer physicians include abortion care in their practices and existing providers approach retirement. The number of abortion providers in the US has declined by 37% since 1982 and the vast majority of counties (87%) lack an abortion provider. This decline in the number of abortion providers has been attributed, in part, to the lack of routine educational and training opportunities for health service professionals.
Ibis designed and implemented a mixed-methods research project to study abortion training in Ob/Gyn residency programs. The project included three components: 1) a content analysis of 246 Ob/Gyn residency program websites; 2) a survey of approximately 1,000 residents who completed residency in 2007; and 3) in-depth interviews with 36 physicians who completed residency in 2007. The study was commissioned by Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health and supported by the Charlotte Ellertson Social Science Postdoctoral Fellowship in Abortion and Reproductive Health.