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A trial of a reproductive ethics and law curriculum for obstetrics and gynaecology residents
  1. Kavita Shah Arora
  1. Correspondence to Kavita Shah Arora, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, 250 E Superior St 05-2177, Chicago, IL 60611, USA; Kavita.Shah.Arora{at}


Objective Prior ethics educational interventions for residents have shown improvement in confidence and knowledge scores strictly in an internal medical resident population. Baseline knowledge and attitudes regarding reproductive ethics and law of obstetrics and gynaecology (ob/gyn) residents were assessed via a survey. Then, after completion of a 20-h curriculum for the residents, the residents were resurveyed in order to assess impact of the curriculum.

Methods An online survey with both multiple-choice and open-ended questions was administered to residents both prior to and after curriculum completion.

Results A total of 39 residents (85% of the total ob/gyn residents) completed the survey. 67% of respondents thought ethics was very important in clinical practice, but only 3% considered themselves very familiar with medical ethics. Respondents were asked five case-based questions to assess baseline knowledge and only 10% answered all questions correctly prior to the curriculum. After the residents completed the curriculum, 31 subjects (79% of the original 39 resident respondents) responded to the same survey. 52% of respondents answered all five questions correctly and 31% considered themselves very familiar with medical ethics.

Conclusions Despite the importance placed on reproductive ethics and law by survey respondents including its impact on their clinical practices, there continues to be a deficiency in formal ethics education in ob/gyn. Our curriculum demonstrated both improvement in confidence as well as knowledge of residents towards issues of reproductive ethics and law.

  • reproductive ethics

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