Home Health Applications Dipped in States With Abortion Restrictions

Applications Dipped in States With Abortion Restrictions

by News7

TOPLINE:States with abortion bans or gestational limits are seeing a small but statistically significant decrease in the percentage of applicants to ob/gyn residencies, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open.

METHODOLOGY:Leaders in medical education have expressed concern over how the 2022 Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization may impact student choices of where to attend their residency in obstetrics and gynecology.Most residents go on to work in the same state as their program, so any decrease in the number of students a given institution could affect access to care in that region later on.Using data from the Association of American Medical Colleges Electronic Residency Application Service, researchers examined changes in the percentage of all US applicants to ob/gyn residency programs between 2019 and 2023.They focused on differences in application numbers among states with varying abortion laws after the 2022 Dobbs v Jackson decision.A secondary analysis was conducted of “program signaling,” in which applicants indicated their top and secondary choices in residencies; this preference program was implemented for 2022 applications, the same year as the Supreme Court decision, so only 1 year of signaling data was available.TAKEAWAY:Between 2021 and 2022, MD applications decreased by 4% in states with a total abortion ban and 1.1% in states with gestational limits.The percentage of MD applicants coming from states without bans applying to programs in states with complete bans decreased from 79.2% in 2021 to 73.3% in 2022.Using the 1 year of program signaling data, researchers found no significant difference in applicants’ preferences for programs in states with and those without abortion laws.IN PRACTICE:”The findings suggest early evidence of a decline in the number of unique applicants to ob/gyn residency programs in states with strict abortion laws,” the study authors wrote.

SOURCE:The study was led by Maya M. Hammoud, MD, research professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. It was published online on February 7, 2024.

LIMITATIONS:Actions by states in terms of various laws and regulations on abortion were often appealed in courts, so applicants may either have been not aware of or confused by the implications for clinical practice. People could send applications or program signals to multiple programs, which may have affected the data. 

DISCLOSURES:Hammoud reports receiving fees from the American Medical Association (AMA) for consulting with the Medical Education Business unit outside the submitted work. The study was funded by a grant from the AMA.

Source : Medscape

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