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Obstetrics and Gynecology Candidates Worry About Proper Training After Roe V. Wade

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  • Several states have banned abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
  • This decision unnerves many medical students interested in becoming an OBGYN.
  • Students said the abortion ban could limit their access to training and critical care.

Before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Lyle Suh seriously considered becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist.

But now she isn’t sure.

“This has pushed me further away for my own mental health,” Suh, a third-year medical school student, told Insider. It’s really unthinkable to step in. Just as much is already out of our hands in medicine, this kind of thing just adds another set of shackles to what we can do.”

Suh’s experience matches that of other medical students considering specializing in reproductive care, but they must navigate confusing bureaucratic catacombs and political minefields. I am aware that I am entering the field.

“They will have to go through all these hurdles.”

Natalie Sorias, a third-year medical student at the University of Massachusetts, told Insider that she is passionate about female reproductive medicine and will likely continue her research in the field despite the challenges ahead. I’m here.

“I got into medical school and tried to keep an open mind as much as possible, but what I really care about is women,” Sorias told an insider.

Sorias, who also studies female genital mutilation in Cairo, said she realized that “it was women who were being neglected” and that “it inevitably affects children”.

As a first-generation Egyptian-American, Sorias said he was disappointed, heartbroken, and angry at the decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling.

“Being immigrants — people coming to America and bragging about their progress, incredible medical care, etc.,” she said. I really wanted it to mean that I was part of a positive example.

Prolife demonstrators carry signs and march in downtown Los Altos, Calif., January 23, 2006. Dozens of life-saving supporters of St. Nicholas’ Church marched to mark his 33rd anniversary from the Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

She is currently concerned about being eligible for residency programs in states that do not offer full-scale reproductive health education, including abortion at various stages, and about the potential for programs to become competitive in states where abortion is legal. increase.

Following medical school, students continue their training in a residency program to become a resident doctor. About 44% of obstetrics and gynecology residents, or 2,638 out of 6,007, said that because of the statewide ban on surgical abortion, they had “certain or potential inability to access statewide abortion training.” I am trained in a program located in a high state. A study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“It’s not just difficult,” Sorias said. “It also creates a lot of competition for those who want to enter. [Obstetrics], which is a carrier gatekeeper and needs more providers from the start. “

Eshani Dixit, a medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, agreed with Sorias’ concerns.

“It definitely looks increasingly difficult in terms of ensuring access to education related not only to my desire to become an abortion provider, but also to the practice of obstetrics and gynecology as a field. We are providing high quality care to ,” Dixit told Insider.

She fears she is in a state where only medical emergencies legally allow abortions to be performed.

“But I’m in that situation and I’m nervous about not having the opportunity to properly care for the patients I serve.

Morgan Levy is a junior at the University of Miami, Florida, where abortion is prohibited after 15 weeks of gestation, with a few exceptions such as saving the life of a pregnant patient.

Levy said out-of-state residency rotations should be considered. I fear this is because they have a “substantial amount of on-site training” and “can’t get it just because the procedure isn’t legal for the patient.” to get. ”

“I think that’s the reality many students face,” Levy said. “They have to overcome all these hurdles to find a place where they can actually get the training they are looking for.”

“We do our best for our patients”

A general view of the lab inside the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois, June 27, 2022. – Abortion is now prohibited in Missouri.

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The Obstetrics and Gynecology study recommends that programs establish “mobile rotations for residents to receive abortion training in states with protected access to abortion.” However, the study notes that travel rotation may not be viable for a large number of residents training in states with restricted access to abortion.

The Graduate Medical Education Accreditation Council, which accredits residency programs, has submitted a proposal requiring programs to be conducted in states with abortion restrictions and to provide residents with alternative training in states without abortion restrictions. Did.

“The proposed amendments are necessary for obstetrics and gynecology residency programs to practice comprehensive reproductive health care in the United States without resulting in residents, physician educators, or residency programs violating the law. It helps us ensure that our residents have the right knowledge, skills and competencies,” an ACGME spokesperson said in a statement.

Proposed amendments are open for public comment before being submitted to the ACGME Board for approval.

Suh said she fears that providers will become indifferent to the patient’s needs, as patients are in an uncertain situation when seeking an abortion.

“We do what’s best for our patients. We give the best treatment and then the next treatment,” she said. But when abortion becomes restricted, she said, it undermines the scope of training and the care it can provide.

She believes that doctors should do their best to do no harm, and that “if there is a law in place that prevents us from giving our patients the best possible care, it is a mental health problem.” is very burdensome.

Su said even if you end up in a state where abortion is not strictly prohibited, there will still be ripple effects.

“While we are still in a very legal state to perform abortions, there has been a marked increase in the number of people coming to see if there are options for becoming permanently sterilized.

Both Sorias and Su said they were concerned that all OBGYN residents would receive proper training, as policies vary from state to state.

“All obstetricians and gynecologists must be well trained and skilled in providing abortions because abortions are life-saving care,” Sorias said. “So it doesn’t make sense to me that she is in a place where more than 50% of her OBGYN providers in this country don’t know how to do it. I would be very disappointed and horrified. ”

Maureen Phipps, CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said after Law’s overthrow, “The impact on physician training will be devastating and the consequences will be long-lasting.”

“Medical education should be comprehensive and our trainees should be confident and ready to meet the needs of all patients. With 44% of obstetricians and gynecologists in the state receiving training, patients have to wonder if their obstetricians and gynecologists have access to the quality training we’ve all come to expect. We did,” Phipps said in a statement.