Development and Implementation of Pregnancy Options Counseling Curriculum in Preclinical Medical Education
Embargo Lift Date
INTRODUCTION: Pre-clinical education during medical school is an opportunity to lay a strong foundation for clinical skill development. Options counseling for pregnancy is one such topic that is essential for students to learn early in their education. The most recent estimates from the CDC report that 102.1 per 1,000 women aged 15–44 will be pregnant. Teaching medical students the skills for pregnancy options counseling centers patient goals and prevents significant adverse outcomes, particularly those that come from being denied appropriate abortion counseling. In a previous assessment of student preparedness and interest, we found that Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) adequately covers family planning topics, but has gaps in abortion counseling during preclinical education. Our survey definitively showed that IUSM medical students are interested in learning about options counseling and feel unprepared to counsel about abortion; additionally, abortion counseling preparedness did not improve in our sample even after completing the OBGYN clerkship. Based on these findings, we sought to implement curriculum change in the form of a panel-based discussion that would improve student education and comfort with this crucial healthcare topic. STUDY OBJECTIVE: 1) Introduce options counseling education into IUSM preclinical reproductive education and 2) evaluate changes in student preparedness and 3) satisfaction with the panel discussion METHODS: We used data from prior surveys that demonstrated high student interest and poor preparedness regarding complete options counseling to approach faculty regarding adding options counseling to preclinical curriculum. We subsequently collaborated with pre clinical education course faculty to design and implement a panel discussion about options counseling for the preclinical reproductive coure. We then developed a survey in Qualtrics to distribute to students following the panel. The survey has 17 questions including 3 free response prompts. The survey evaluates whether students feel prepared to provide options counseling after the panel, how well topics were covered, and satisfaction overall. RESULTS: The panel will take place on February 7, 2022 and the survey will be open for weeks after the panel, at which point we will analyze student responses. We expect that our post-panel survey will demonstrate increased preparedness to counsel patients about options during pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Future panels and additional course development will fill gaps in preclinical education regarding options counseling, while expanding the skills of medical students. In addition, being prepared to offer patient centered care could better prepare students for clerkships and clinical experiences. This is a promising start to enhance preclinical education regarding women’s health.