Abortion Training Institutes Report

Medical Students for Choice wrapped up another successful Abortion Training Institute (ATI) season earlier this fall. These virtual ATIs allow highly motivated students to learn many aspects of abortion in an intense, small group learning environment. Students learn about the clinical aspects of first-trimester abortions, examine their own biases and values, and hear from abortion providers about their experiences, challenges, and motivations. Fifty students from 46 schools were accepted. Each student received a training kit in the mail to participate in an Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) workshop to gain facility and familiarity with the equipment.

Reproductive health is a vital part of medicine (and life), no matter what specialty you go into. Unfortunately, most medical school education is still very limited on reproductive health, despite how often it is encountered in practice, which leads to confusion and misinformation, even amongst health care professionals. These classes have been phenomenal in bridging that gap.ATI Participant

Students walk away from the ATIs feeling more knowledgeable about abortion-related topics. Based on the results of pre-ATI and post-ATI tests, students reported being significantly more knowledgeable around the techniques of first-trimester procedural and medical abortion, identifying products of conception, and legal restrictions in the U.S.

When looking at the proportion of students who rated themselves a 4 or 5 on a 1-5 knowledge scale (1 being not competent and 5 being very competent), all changes in knowledge were statistically significant with a p-value of <.0001.

Even among this highly self-selected group of participants, the ATI clarified and solidified these students’ intention to provide abortions in their future careers. For students that indicated future provision was unlikely, their desire to enter a specialty further removed from reproductive health care was the main reason given.

We asked participants to indicate how much of an impact the factors would have on their ability to provide abortions. Below are the percentages of respondents who indicated factors would have a high impact. As you can see, anti-choice legislation was the factor students believed would have the highest impact on their careers.

For me, a big part of medicine is social justice. Becoming an abortion provider is an incredible way I can fulfill that mission. MSFC is helping me reach that goal by providing clinical training, tools, and resources not included in my curriculum.ATI Participant