Development and preliminary testing of a professionalism-focused interactive, online module for teaching options counseling to medical students
Awarded 2021
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Samantha Baer, MD, ScM
Yale-New Haven Medical Center

Background: The 2019 APGO Medical Student Educational Objectives state that medical graduates should be able to provide non-directive, non-judgmental pregnancy options counseling. However, only 30% of U.S. medical schools include any teaching about options counseling in their preclinical curricula and little evidence is available about best practices for teaching options counseling. Based on the theory of planned behavior, framing options counseling as a professional obligation may improve a student’s intention to perform counseling and their ability to do it well.
Objective: We aim to develop a novel professionalism-focused, simulation-based, self-directed online module designed to teach pregnancy options counseling to medical students. We hypothesize that it will be acceptable and that in preliminary testing it will improve students’ knowledge, as well as self-reported confidence with their skills in, moral comfort with, and intention to provide options counseling and improve their skills as measured by selections in a simulated counseling session within the module.
Design and Methods:
Phase 1: Module development following Kern’s Six-Step Approach.
Phase 2: Preliminary testing using pre-post module survey with a convenience sampling of medical students at our institution.
Potential impact: Developing an interactive online module for teaching medical students about professionalism and options counseling will help fill a critical gap in medical student education. With an online platform, this module could be implemented at any school or by individual students whose institutions do not have faculty to teach such sessions and/or at medical schools where options counseling is not part of the curriculum.