Introduction: Nearly half of all pregnancies in the USA are unintended with a relatively higher proportion occurring in military populations, which can have a large impact on military readiness. Military and civilian internal medicine residency programs do not place an emphasis on contraception in the primary care setting. This intervention sought to elucidate the perceptions of contraception in an internal medicine primary care setting in a military residency and improve confidence in contraceptive counseling and prescribing. Material and Methods: Residents at a military internal residency program were given an hour-long didactic presentation on contraception that was followed 5 weeks later by the implementation of a pocket card for point of care use with key information from the presentation. Residents became certified in the placement and removal of the etonogestrel implant. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were administered to assess for changes in attitudes and confidence in prescribing and counseling. This project was determined to be a quality improvement project by the IRB board of the home institution. Results: Forty-two of 75 (56%) residents responded initially and 40 of 75 (53%) responded after the intervention. There was a significant improvement in resident attitudes towards the applicability of contraception training in internal medicine (p = 0.03) as well as acquiring the skill of etonogestrel implant placement (p = 0.001). There was a trend towards significance in confidence in prescribing oral contraception (p = 0.053). There was no change in residents' confidence in counseling on oral contraception (p = 0.45). Conclusion: A change in the contraception curriculum led to improved residents' skills in etonogestrel placement, and attitudes regarding the applicability of training in contraception to internal medicine, but did not significantly improve confidence in contraceptive counseling. These results suggest that internal medicine residencies should focus on teaching contraception to improve the attitudes in future internists who will need to address contraception in the military population. Future studies could include assessing physician preparedness for addressing contraception during general medical officer tours.
- Military Medicine
- Primary Health Care