OBGYN wannabes worry about proper training after Roe V. Wade

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Several states have banned abortion since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. The decision worried many medical students who want to become OBGYNs. The students said the abortion ban could limit their education and exposure to life-saving care. Something is loading.

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

But now she is less sure.

“It took me away more for my own mental health,” Suh, who is in her third year of medical school, told Insider. “I really don’t see myself stepping into a field that is so heavily governed. As medicine already has so much out of our hands – that stuff just adds another hindrance to what we can do. “

Suh’s experience echoes those of other medical students who plan to major in reproductive care, but also recognize that they will enter a field where they will have to navigate confusing bureaucratic catacombs and a minefield. Politics.

“They will have to go through all these obstacles”

Natalie Sorias, a third-year medical student at the University of Massachusetts, told Insider that she is passionate about women’s reproductive health care, and despite the challenges ahead, she will most likely keep trying to work on it. field.

“I went to med school trying to keep my mind as open as possible,” Sorias told Insider, “but the population I’m really interested in is women.”

Sorias, who also researches female genital mutilation in Cairo, said he noticed that “the people who were sort of overlooked were women” and that “it inevitably has an impact on children”.

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

“As immigrants, people come to America bragging about its progress and its incredible health care and all those things,” she said. “I really hoped that being in this country would mean being part of the global example of reproductive justice. It’s just a bit embarrassing that we’re not and it’s really disappointing for the people it would affect.”

Pro-life protesters carry signs as they march January 23, 2006 through downtown Los Altos, California. Dozens of pro-life supporters of St. Nicholas Church marched to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

She now worries about the fit with a residency program in a state that doesn’t offer the full range of reproductive health education, including abortions at different stages, as well as how competitive programs could become in states where abortion is legal.

After medical school, students continue their training in a residency program, where they become resident physicians. According to an April study published in the journal “Obstetrics & Gynecology.”

“It’s not just difficult,” Sorias said. “It also dramatically increases the competition for anyone trying to get into [Obstetrics]that protects a career that needs more providers to start.”

Eshani Dixit, a medical student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, echoed Sorias’ concern.

“It seems increasingly difficult to ensure that I have access to an education that is not only relevant to my desire to become an abortion provider, but also relevant to the practice of obstetrics and gynecology as a that field and to make sure we’re ‘providing quality care to our patients,'” Dixit told Insider.

She says she fears finding herself in a state where only a medical emergency will allow her to legally perform an abortion.

“But I’m nervous about being in these types of situations and not being exposed to adequate care for the patients I serve,” she said.

Morgan Levy is a third-year medical student at the University of Miami in Florida, where abortions are prohibited after 15 weeks with some exceptions, such as to save the life of a pregnant patient.

Levy said she’ll have to consider an out-of-state residency rotation because she’s worried there’s a “significant part of on-the-job training” that she “couldn’t get just because the procedure would not be legal for a patient to obtain.”

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

‘We do what’s best for the patient’ General view of an exam room inside the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois on June 27, 2022. – Abortion is now banned in Missouri. ANGELA WEISS/AFP

The “Obstetrics and Gynecology” study recommended that programs establish “travel rotations for residents to obtain abortion education in states where access to abortion is protected.” However, the study noted that travel rotations may not be feasible for the large number of residents who train in states with limited access to abortion.

The Accreditation Council for Higher Medical Education, which accredits residency programs, has submitted proposals that would require programs in states with restrictions on abortion to offer residents alternative training in states that do not. do not.

“The proposed revisions help ensure that obstetrics and gynecology residency programs provide residents with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to practice comprehensive reproductive health care in the United States without any resident, medical educator, or program residency violates the law,” the ACGME spokesperson said in a statement.

Proposed revisions are always open for public comment before being submitted to the ACGME Board of Directors for approval.

Suh said she fears providers are becoming too indifferent to patients’ needs, as they are now placed in uncertain circumstances when seeking abortions.

“We do what’s best for the patient. We follow the best treatment and then the next one,” she said. But she said if she finds herself in a state where abortion is restricted, then the scope of her training and the care she can provide is compromised.

She added that she thinks doctors have to do their best not to harm and “when there are well-established laws that prevent you from giving the best possible care to a patient, it’s very mentally taxing.”

Suh said that even if she ends up in a state where abortion isn’t strongly banned, there’s still a ripple effect.

“Even though we’re in a state where it’s still legal to have an abortion, we’re seeing a noticeable increase in people coming to see what options are available to become permanently infertile,” Suh ​​said.

Both Sorias and Suh said they are concerned about the proper training all OBGYN residents are going to receive due to differing state policies.

“Every OBGYN should be well-trained and qualified to perform abortions because it is life-saving care,” Sorias said. “So it doesn’t make sense to me that over 50% of OBGYN providers in the country are in a place where they don’t know how to do this. I would be very disappointed and scared.”

Maureen Phipps, chief executive of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said that following Roe’s reversal, “the impact on physician education will be disastrous and the consequences will be long-lasting.”

“Medical training must be comprehensive, and our trainees must be prepared to meet all patient needs with confidence. When 44% of OBGYN residents are trained in states now empowered to ban abortion, patients will have to ask if their obstetrician had access to the quality of training we all expect,” Phipps said in a statement.

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