BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Family physicians (FPs) are well positioned to increase abortion access given their broad scope and diverse geographic practice regions. Previously published studies focus on physicians who received formal abortion training but do not include the full landscape of FPs performing abortions in the United States. This secondary data analysis presents a unique opportunity to examine characteristics of early-career FPs who provide abortions, including practice locations and if they received abortion training during residency. METHODS: We analyzed data from the 2016-2018 Family Medicine National Graduate Survey to generate descriptive statistics about respondents who report providing pregnancy termination, uterine aspiration/dilation and curettage, or both. We evaluated associations between physician and/or practice characteristics and providing pregnancy termination using bivariate statistics. RESULTS: Of the 6,319 survey respondents, 3% reported providing pregnancy termination. Nearly three-quarters of this subset reported graduating residency feeling prepared to provide pregnancy termination. Most respondents completed residency in the West or Northeast US geographic regions, and 3 years later were practicing in the West or South regions. Additional characteristics associated with providing pregnancy termination include female gender, providing continuity care, and practicing in either an academic medical center or a federally qualified health center. CONCLUSIONS: FPs are well positioned to address gaps in abortion access, and those who provide pregnancy termination practice in various US geographic regions. This is the first discussion of its kind about the scope of family physicians providing abortion care. Future research should continue to characterize FPs who provide abortions to determine where they train and practice and what type of abortions they provide.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Family Practice