During summer of 2022, the Supreme Court ruling in the Dobbs v. Jackson's Women's Health Organization. Their decision case resulted in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, giving states the ability to regulate or ban abortion. Several public health and clinical professional organizations released statements opposing this decision due its risks to patient safety and patient autonomy. The goal of this project was to explore if state level laws surrounding abortion and reproductive health care access impact fourth year medical students' plans for residency training.
Data was collected through open ended text responses on an anonymous RedCap survey. Participants were recruited through emails and medical student media communications. Data was collected between December 19, 2022 and February 21, 2023. All transcripts were double coded. 99 students from medical schools across 13 states completed the survey. Data were organized into 3 main themes: 1) Impact on Specialty 2) Impact on Location 3) Future Career Pursuits.
The majority of participants reported that their speciality choice was not impacted. Participants considered access to abortion training, the impact on patient care and the physician-patient relationship, and the impact on their personal access to healthcare when considering training programs. Students also stated an interest in reproductive health advocacy. Medical students from a diverse range of backgrounds expressed concerns navigating plans for residency training due to changing state level abortion laws. This will have an impact on public health and patient safety. Additional data are needed to assess the long-term impact of this decision on career decisions on a national level.
Sinnott, Jacqueline, "The Impact of Abortion and Reproductive Health Care Access on Plans for Residency Training: A Qualitative Study" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 473.