Advancing access to medication abortion in primary care: Conducting a needs assessment for family planning training among internal medicine primary care residency programs
Awarded 2020
Emerging Scholars in Family Planning
Nina Tan, MD
University of Washington

As a primary care internal medicine (IM) resident with a focus on women’s health and family planning, Dr. Tan feels passionately about the essential role of primary care in providing abortion services, especially as legal abortion access continues to be dictated by restrictive policies. Her career goal is to improve primary care medication abortion access by leading medical education research efforts to systematically introduce abortion training and scholarship into IM residency programs. Internists make up about 44% of non-pediatric primary care providers but historically have not been trained to provide abortion services. Research shows that training family medicine and OBGYN residents leads to increased provision of abortion services post-residency, which can be extrapolated to abortion training in IM. This project will assess the educational climate and needs of IM residencies to teach abortion care. Internal medicine primary care program directors nationwide will be asked to participate in a free, evidence based, online Abortion Pill CME training that demonstrates the safety and ease of providing medication abortion in primary care offices. They will then complete an anonymous survey to evaluate their knowledge and attitudes towards abortion, assess programs’ readiness for change, and identify factors that facilitate or hinder abortion education efforts. Results from this study will be disseminated to IM leadership, educators, and residents via publications and/or academic presentations. We propose that engaging receptive residency programs will inspire and facilitate a wider effort to integrate abortion training into IM residencies, thus amplifying primary care’s capacity to provide abortion services.