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RAD Times in the Big Easy: Race, Access, and Diversity in Abortion Training

Purpose: To explore residents’ interest in doing abortions with a focus on ethnic diversity. 


Background: Abortion training is critical to increase access for the 39% of US women who live in the 90% of counties with no abortion care. Racial/ethnic minority physicians are more likely than white physicians to care for poor and minority patients and practice in underserved areas.1  We explored racial and ethnic differences in residents’ interest in providing abortions in ob/gyn, the most racially diverse ACGME residency.

 1. Marrast LM, Zallman L, Woolhandler S, Bor DH, McCormick D. JAMA Intern Med 2014;174:289–91.


Methods: Using Ryan Residency Program post-rotation survey data collected in 2015-2018, we assessed intention to provide abortion and training participation by resident race/ethnicity. 


Results: The majority of residents (658, 79%) completed surveys.  Respondents were: 412(65%) white, 50(8%) black, 27(4%) Hispanic/Latino, 118(19%) Asian, and 24(4%) other. Overall, 57% intended to provide abortion for all indications and 82% for pregnancy complications.  The proportions that planned to provide abortions by race/ethnicity were: 70% of Asian, 63% of Latino, 54% of white and 48% of black. While in bivariate analysis Asians were more likely than whites to intend provision (p 0.003), there were no difference by race/ethnicity when controlling for religion and abortion attitudes, which were both associated with intention (p<0.05). There was also no difference in training participation by race/ethnicity.


Discussions: The majority of residents overall planned to include abortion in their practice. Increasing resident diversity may close the abortion access gap in the US by providing care in underserved areas. 

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2019, Student, Resident, Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, UME, Public Health, Contraception or Family Planning,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Patient Care,Medical Knowledge,
Public Health,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,

Author Information

Katherine Brown, MD, UCSF; Jema Turk, MPA, MA, PhD; Andrea Jackson, MD, MAS; Jody Steinauer, MD, MAS

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