Original research article| Volume 90, ISSUE 5, P508-513, November 2014

Developing future leaders in reproductive health through a scholarly concentration for medical students



      To evaluate the impact of a scholarly concentration for medical students, which aims to develop students' research, clinical and advocacy skills to promote women's reproductive health.

      Study design

      Scholarly concentration programs provide opportunities to engage in scholarship beyond the traditional medical school curriculum. Faculty from the Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments at Brown University collaboratively developed the Scholarly Concentration in Women's Reproductive Health. Three to five students per class enroll and carry out a 3-year mentored research project, attend monthly seminars, write position papers on reproductive health controversies and complete clinical electives in reproductive health. Students are required to disseminate their work through conference presentations and/or peer-reviewed publications. The program evaluation included measures of scholarly productivity and qualitative analyses of interviews with students and mentors as well as written and verbal feedback from students.


      Ten students comprised the first 3 classes completing the program, producing 24 national presentations and 9 peer-reviewed publications. Reported program benefits included increased knowledge, scholarship skills and support for career development in reproductive health. Key factors facilitating these results were as follows: effective mentoring relationships, the community of practice that emerged through the monthly seminars and student independence in project work.


      A scholarly concentration for medical students provides a unique platform to support the development of talented students as future leaders in women's reproductive health.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Contraception
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Singh S.
        • Sedgh G.
        • Hussain R.
        Unintended pregnancy: worldwide levels, trends and outcomes.
        Stud Fam Plan. 2010; 41: 241-250
        • Kearney M.S.
        • Levine P.B.
        Why is the teen birth rate in the United States so high and why does it matter?.
        J Econ Perspect. 2012; 2: 141-166
        • Jones R.K.
        • Kooistra K.
        Abortion incidence and access to services in the United States, 2008.
        Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2011; 43: 41-50
        • Sedgh G.
        • Singh S.
        • Shah I.H.
        • Ahman E.
        • Henshaw S.K.
        • Bankole A.
        Induced abortion: incidence and trends worldwide from 1995 to 2008.
        Lancet. 2012; 379: 625-632
        • Steinauer J.
        • LaRochelle F.
        • Rowh M.
        • Backus L.
        • Sandahl Y.
        • Foster A.
        First impressions: what are preclinical medical students in the US and Canada learning about sexual and reproductive health?.
        Contraception. 2009; 80: 74-80
        • Espey E.
        • Ogburn T.
        • Chavez A.
        • Qualls C.
        • Leyba M.
        Abortion education in medical schools: a national survey.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005; 192: 640-643
        • Green E.P.
        • Borkan J.M.
        • Pross S.H.
        • Adler S.R.
        • Nothnagle M.
        • Parsonnet J.
        • et al.
        Encouraging scholarship: medical school programs to promote student inquiry beyond the traditional medical curriculum.
        Acad Med. 2010; 85: 409-418
        • Bierer S.B.
        • Chen H.C.
        How to measure success: the impact of scholarly concentrations on students — a literature review.
        Acad Med. 2010; 85: 438-452
        • Aksel S.
        • Fein L.
        • Ketterer E.
        • Young E.
        • Backus L.
        Unintended consequences: abortion training in the years after Roe v Wade.
        Am J Public Health. 2013; 103: 404-407
        • Glassick C.E.
        Boyer's expanded definitions of scholarship, the standards for assessing scholarship, and the elusiveness of the scholarship of teaching.
        Acad Med. 2000; 75: 877-880
        • King N.
        Template analysis.
        in: Symon G. Cassell C. Qualitative methods and analysis in organizational research. Sage Publications, London1998: 118-134
        • Kirkpatrick D.L.
        • Kirkpatrick J.D.
        Evaluating training programs: the four levels.
        Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., San Francisco2006
        • Rabow M.W.
        • Remen R.N.
        • Parmelee D.X.
        • Inui T.M.
        Professional formation: extending medicine's lineage of service into the next century.
        Acad Med. 2010; 85: 310-317
        • Goldie J.
        The formation of professional identity in medical students: considerations for educators.
        Med Teach. 2012; 34: e641-e648
        • Wenger E.
        Communities of practice: learning, meaning, and identity.
        Cambridge University Press, Cambridge1998
        • Lent R.W.
        • Brown S.D.
        • Hackett G.
        Toward a unifying social cognitive theory of career and academic interest, choice and performance.
        J Vocat Behav. 1994; 45: 79-122
        • Chongsiriwatana K.M.
        • Phelan S.T.
        • Skipper B.J.
        • Rhyne R.L.
        • Rayburn W.F.
        Required research by medical students and their choice of a women's health career residency.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005; 192: 1478-1480