Medical Students for Choice's

Abortion Training Institutes

Creating tomorrow’s abortion providers and pro-choice physicians.

MSFC’s Abortion Training Institutes (ATIs) provide medical students with an intensive weekend-long educational opportunity to learn about abortion and family planning in a small group environment using didactic and interactive sessions with self-paced hands-on training simulations. The ATI program includes values clarification, abortion in the first and second trimesters, advocacy training and a provider panel. Medical students will have the opportunity to engage with current abortion providers who have familiarity and experience with the unique challenges of providing abortion care throughout the US, including abortion restrictive and hostile states.

Only medical students attending schools in the following abortion-hostile states in the US may apply – Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Admission is application-based and highly competitive as space is limited. Priority will be given to first and second-year medical students with very little or no access to abortion training on campus or offsite. Medical students who have previously attended MSFC’s Abortion Training Institute (ATI), Reproductive Health Externship (RHE), or Conference on Family Planning are discouraged from applying at this time due to their advanced level of knowledge regarding abortion care. Accepted students will receive full funding, and MSFC will provide travel reimbursement, meals, and lodging for the duration of the ATI.

Applications for the 2024 In-Person ATI are closed. Tune in earlier next year for more information about the next ATIs.

Next ATI

  • Friday August 23 to Sunday August 25, 2024
  • Philadelphia, PA

Applications for the 2024 In-Person ATI are closed. Tune in earlier next year for more information about the next ATIs.

Advance Your Abortion Education

Medical students participate with reproductive health experts in small-group sessions covering the clinical aspects of abortion care and provision.

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Intensive Education Advanced Knowledge

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Work in Small Groups with Leading Experts

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Highly Competitive Elite Opportunity

Think through how abortion can be defined as birth control, where that is located on the spectrum of comprehensive reproductive healthcare services and how you can maintain professionalism during these conversations with patients.

This session will review the techniques for first trimester abortion, including anesthesia, surgical approach, and complications. Students will also review regimens and best practices for medication abortion.

Learn how to inspect tissue after a 1st trimester abortion and why this step is critical to patient care.

Engage in a conversation with abortion providers as they share their stories, including why they chose to provide abortion as part of their practice, what they find rewarding about their work and the challenges they face.

This session will review the basics of second trimester abortion. This includes the discussion of available techniques and approaches, and minimizing risks and complications.

Become familiar with the equipment used for 2nd trimester procedures and practice the techniques using a model. This session will give you a chance to learn the tactile feel of this procedure.

Get an introduction to the equipment and techniques used for Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA), a safe and easy, low-tech method of providing early abortion. Attendees will work in small groups with physicians to learn these skills.

A panel of experts will present resources and strategies for training and participating in advocacy, both in your own community and throughout your career.

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What did you like best about MSFC’s Abortion training Institute?

The advocacy talks and discussions about how to get involved made me realize the tangible changes I can make in my medical school.

Networking with fantastic, inspiring pro-choice providers and students

Being surrounded by like-minded individuals from around the country and similar passions of providing and advocating for women’s reproductive health. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more and receive training I did not have access to before.

Loved the people—I could see myself happily practicing alongside all of these individuals.

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What skills or ideas did you gain at the Abortion Training Institute that you will take back with you?

Being aware of the language we use in abortion counseling. Feeling more comfortable with MVA. Becoming familiar with medication abortion.

So many ideas (advocacy, resolution writing, training, etc.) that I can do at my school.

I learned specific skills about advocacy and how to share stories and defend my position effectively. I learned skills to remain confident in my decision to become an abortion provider.

Safety of the procedures! How to identify products of conception. Education on need for physician advocacy—our voices are powerful! We need to speak up!

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What was most valuable to you and why?

Values clarification—very helpful when trying to figure out how to respond to family, friends, strangers who disagree with what I do. Clinical sessions—1st and 2nd POC practice understanding the entire procedures available for termination to dispel myths/misconceptions about the procedures and feel more confident as future providers.

Provider Panel! I loved hearing their paths, struggles, strengths. It has helped me frame my plans.

…my technical knowledge about abortion procedures was limited and both the lectures and the hands-on training were great. I loved getting to interact with providers as well.

…I’ve never been able to reconcile my stance with my deep love and appreciation for children and pregnancy. When Joan explained that we, as pro-choice advocates, care deeply about babies because their lives are too valuable to not make a choice about, I felt an instant click! This has hugely helped me make sense about my desire to be an OB/GYN and bring life into this world while simultaneously being a safe, trusted abortion provider for my patients.

MSFC staff will select participants based on the strength of their applications and CVs and the appropriateness of attendance. Because the ATI covers the fundamentals of abortion, students with little to no prior education on abortion and limited educational opportunities in the future are given priority.

MSFC, on average, can only accept 25% of applicants. We have many good applications we cannot offer slots to due to budget and space constraints. We encourage students to apply to future ATIs if not accepted.

We look for applicants who have been thoughtful in their application and have used the application to demonstrate their goals for attending the ATI.

At the end of the online application form you’ll receive a message confirming the submission of your application and we’ll indicate there the decision date for when applicants will be notified if they were accepted of not.

There is no waitlist for the ATI.

We cannot accept applications after the deadline has past.

YES! MSFC has other resources available to students wishing to pursue abortion training and education. The Reproductive Health Externship (RHE) program is a funding program which provides support to medical students and residents obtaining clinical exposure to abortion care. You can relay your questions and inquiries to for more information.

Also, the Conference on Family Planning (CoFP) is another option that happens once a year where students can get hands on training, workshops and network with providers on family planning and reproductive health. In addition, learning how to take action for reproductive rights in their community. This year the CoFP is in Philadelphia, PA December 7 & 8. Save the date! For more information you can email or on our website here.

If you still have questions regarding general information, the application process or anything that wasn’t discussed here about the Abortion Training Institutes, you should email An MSFC staff member will be happy to discuss the ATI in further detail with you.

Abortion Training Institutes (ATIs) provide medical students with a fully funded educational opportunity to learn about abortion from family planning experts. The ATI will prepare you for future training in abortion care in a small group environment.

ATIs are usually held in Philadelphia, PA.

The ATI’s are always held on weekends. The program begins on a scheduled Friday at 6:00 PM EST and concludes on that Sunday, at noon. Only students who are available from 6:00 PM Friday until 12:00 PM Sunday afternoon will be considered. In order to attend the program, you will most likely need to request Friday off for traveling to Philadelphia.

Only medical students attending schools in the following abortion hostile states in the US may apply – Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

NON-medical students may apply, but ONLY medical students will receive funding to attend the ATI. In order to attend as a non-medical student, the attendee will be responsible for the conference registration fee, travel funds, and accommodations during the ATI.

MSFC will cover your conference registration fee, hotel room, the most cost-effective travel to and from the ATI, and meals during the program.

You will work with an MSFC staff member to make sure your itinerary allows you to attend the full program, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Students will be responsible for purchasing their own flight. Flights must be purchased based on cost efficiency, not by timing or availability. Flights must be approved by MSFC before they are purchased. This is applicable for train tickets as well. You will need to submit your receipt(s) for reimbursement from MSFC after your travel has been purchased.

No. MSFC will reserve hotel rooms for everyone attending the ATI after travel arrangements have been confirmed. You will be paired with a roommate for the duration of the program.

It is MSFC’s intention to comply with all applicable laws and to promote training for abortion care that complies with all applicable laws. Please note, however, that the information provided during this training about lawful abortion care is for general informational purposes only, and does not and is not intended to constitute medical or legal advice. For legal advice concerning your personal circumstances or the legal status of abortion in your state, please consult an attorney. In addition, please note that links may be provided for third-party content, which we do not warrant, endorse, or assume liability for.