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Abortion education in medical schools: A national survey

      Objective

      This survey was performed to examine the inclusion and extent of abortion education in US medical schools.

      Study design

      A 3-item confidential survey requesting information about abortion education throughout the 4 years of medical school was mailed to the OB-GYN clerkship directors of the 126 accredited US medical schools.

      Results

      Seventy-eight surveys were returned, for a response rate of 62%. Overall, 17% of clerkship directors reported no formal education about abortion either in the preclinical or clinical years. In the third-year OB-GYN rotation, 23% reported no formal education, whereas 32% offered a lecture specifically about abortion. While 45% of third-year rotations offered a clinical experience, participation was generally low. About half of schools offered a fourth-year reproductive health elective, but few students participated.

      Conclusion

      Abortion education is limited in US medical schools. As an integral part of women's reproductive health services, abortion education deserves a place in the curricula of all medical schools.

      Key words

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