Original Article

Opioid Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology Training Programs

Authors: Alexis A. Dieter, MD, Marcella Willis-Gray, MD, Erin T. Carey, MD, MSCR


Objective: Our primary objective was to assess the current state of pain and opioid education in obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) by performing a detailed review of the national educational curricula guiding OBGYN residency and fellowship training programs in the United States.

Methods: From 2019 to 2020 we reviewed seven documents created to guide learning and structure educational training for OBGYN residency and fellowship programs in the United States: the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology (CREOG) Educational Objectives Core Curriculum in Obstetrics and Gynecology, the 2016 Educational Objectives-Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery, and the 2018 Guides to Learning in Complex Family Planning, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, Gynecologic Oncology, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Each document was reviewed by two authors to assess for items referring to pain or opioids.

Results: The CREOG educational objectives, used to inform educational curricula for residency programs, were the most comprehensive, mentioning pain and/or opioid educational objectives the highest number of times and including the most categories. The CREOG document was followed by the Guides to Learning for Gynecologic Oncology and for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. The Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Guide to Learning did not mention pain and/or opioids in the educational objectives.

Conclusions: Our study identifies an opportunity for consistent and appropriate opioid and pain management education in OBGYN training.

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