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ARHP Urges ACGME To Retain Contraception Training Requirements For Family Medicine Residents



For Immediate Release
April 25,  2013

Today, ARHP’s board of directors submitted the following recommendations to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education regarding their regrettable proposal to loosen contraception and family planning training requirements for family medicine residents.

 

Dear Family Medicine RRC Members:

We are writing on behalf of the 12,000 members and the board of directors of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) to express our grave concerns about the proposed changes to the requirements for reproductive health education to family medicine residents. We strongly encourage you to retain existing training requirements in contraception and pregnancy options counseling, and to require procedural training in IUD, contraceptive implant insertion, and uterine aspiration.

The US has the highest rate of unintended pregnancy of any developed country (approximately 50%), and family physicians are in a key position to address this need. Family planning clinics are closing and merging with other facilities. Community health centers and residency clinics, where family physicians tend to work, are in the process of doubling in capacity due to federal funding under the Affordable Care Act. These sites are the new front lines of family planning care and our patients need us to make sure all family physicians get good contraception training. The ACA also includes contraception as a core preventive health service without co-pay. This underscores the importance of primary care clinicians responding to an increased demand for reproductive health services, particularly among our most vulnerable populations. By removing family planning and contraception requirements for family medicine residents, we seriously jeopardize our ability to lower these unacceptable rates of unintended pregnancy.

In recognition of this need, ARHP recently launched the Sexual and Reproductive Health Workforce Project in collaboration with dozens of other non-profit foundation and agency partners. The Project’s goal is to increase reproductive health care capacity through systems and training innovations for the existing primary care workforce. ARHP is a multidisciplinary, multi-specialty association of 12,000 sexual and reproductive health professionals predominately from the United States. Family physicians are an integral part of ARHP’s multidisciplinary, multi-specialty membership and leadership. ARHP’s mission is to develop and widely disseminate high-quality reproductive health education, support cutting edge research in reproductive health technologies, and advocate for public policies aimed at improving the sexual and reproductive health of women, men, and their families.

Requirements are meant to ensure that we provide patients with the best possible care. Please ensure that family physicians have the skills they need: continue requiring contraception and family planning training. The US healthcare system needs this now more than ever.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Linda Dominguez, RN-C, NP
Chair, ARHP Board of Directors
Women’s Health Clinician, Southwest Women’s Health

Justine Wu, MD, MPH
Member at Large, ARHP Board of Directors
Co-Director, Reproductive Health Fellowship in Family Medicine
Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Beth Jordan Mynett, MD
ARHP Medical Director

Wayne Shields
ARHP President and CEO



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The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) is the leading source for trusted medical education and information on reproductive and sexual health. ARHP educates health care providers, informs consumers, and helps shape public policy. ARHP is a non-profit membership association composed of highly qualified and committed experts in reproductive health. ARHP members are health professionals in clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy and they include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurse midwives, researchers, educators, pharmacists, and other professionals in reproductive health. To learn more, visit: http://www.arhp.org.