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After Texas Senate Bill 8 (SB8) passed in Texas, hundreds of obstetrician gynecologist residents lost access to abortion training. This study explores lessons learned from a pilot program that matched Texas residents with out-of-state Ryan Programs for abortion training.
The Ryan Program (RP) surveyed RP directors about whether they could host Texas residents for 2–4-week rotations and Texas residency directors about how many PGY3/PGY4 residents desired out-of-state training. A Bay Area–based anonymous donor helped cover the costs of Texas residents’ travel. Finally, residents were asked to complete a pre- and post-out-of-state rotation survey to evaluate their experience, which we are currently collecting.
The RP helped match 37 residents for 2–4-week rotations with nine out-of-state RPs. Each resident received approximately $1,500 to help cover travel, room, and board. Matching took > 100 hours of RP staff time. Each Texas program began working with their out-of-state partner no later than October. It took an average of five months to finalize logistics. One program (five residents) could not be matched as we had exhausted available training spaces. Sources of delay included contract negotiation between institutions, liability insurance requirements, resident travel arrangements, travel costs, and rotation scheduling within the host institution.
In this pilot travel training program, nearly 40 Texas-based residents successfully arranged training, but many still wait to be placed. With the upcoming SCOTUS decision, thousands of residents face losing access to abortion training, and this pilot program offers lessons learned to the many challenges that lie ahead.
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