research and Evaluation

RHEDI conducts a broad range of research and evaluation activities that demonstrate the impact of integrated abortion and contraceptive training in family medicine residencies, and examine how the provision of these services within family medicine can improve abortion access and quality of care.


Abortion Provision

See: Summit AK, Chong E., Gold M. Abortion provision by family physicians after integrated opt-out training in residency. Fam Med. 2022; DOI: 10.22454/FamMed.2023.526561

See: Patel P et al. Abortion Provision Among Recently Graduated Family Physicians. Fam Med. 2020 Nov;52(10):724-729. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2020.300682. PMID: 33151532.

Since RHEDI’s founding in 2004, we’ve grown from working with only a few family medicine residencies to partnering with 34 residency programs around the country to institute high-quality integrated opt-out abortion training. In the period from 2006 through 2020, RHEDI faculty trained 2028 residents in abortion. The majority of these residents were trained in both medication abortion and abortion procedures, within both family medicine and high volume clinic settings, preparing them to provide comprehensive abortion care for their future patients.

In our research which followed family physicians who trained at RHEDI programs, 24% have provided abortion after residency, as compared to only 3% of a representative survey of family physicians in a similar age cohort. Furthermore, RHEDI’s impact goes beyond the learners we’ve trained directly: RHEDI graduates have gone on to found new RHEDI programs, to train over 1,600 learners in abortion, to initiate abortion provision at their workplaces, and to be active leaders in abortion training, access, research, and policy within family medicine.

As part of our routine evaluation work, we collect the following data:

  • Pre- and post-residency surveys from residents at RHEDI programs, to measure the effects of integrated abortion training
  • Directors’ survey, completed annually by RHEDI directors for outcomes on the abortion and enhanced reproductive health training at their residency programs
  • Post-graduate study: conducted in 2017 and 2020, surveying practicing family physicians who graduated from RHEDI programs 2 to 6 years earlier, to learn more about their post-residency provision of abortion and other reproductive health services
  • Pre- and post-surveys for specific RHEDI workshops and curricula, including papaya workshops and medication abortion learning tools

What's New

Two new research studies from RHEDI were presented in early May at both the annual conferences of the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine and the National Abortion Federation!

  • The first, “Abortion Provision after Routine Abortion Training in Family Medicine Residencies,” draws on research from our post-graduate studies, where we surveyed currently practicing family physicians (RHEDI graduates and a comparison group), about their current practice patterns, and found that routine opt-out abortion training during residency was strongly linked to abortion provision after residency.
  • The second, “Abortion Training and Provision among Family Physicians Underrepresented in Medicine,” specifically examined the experiences of RHEDI alumni who are underrepresented minorities in medicine (URM) and compared those experiences to that of their non-URM colleagues. We found that despite similar training and intentions to provide between the two groups, URM physicians go on to provide abortion at lower rates, spurring discussion of particular barriers to abortion provision that these physicians may face.


Both studies were  presented as oral presentations at STFM and as poster presentations at NAF: we look forward to sharing more details from this research!

RHEDI recently partnered with the Council of Academic Family Medicine on a CERA survey of family medicine residency program directors, which took place in December 2022. The survey included questions from RHEDI on the availability of abortion training during residency. The results will allow us to gain a comprehensive and updated understanding of the availability of abortion training within family medicine residencies, including both routine and optional training and both medication and aspiration abortion. We look forward to disseminating the results of the survey!

Research Support

We support RHEDI programs by offering one-on-one technical assistance in research and evaluation.

RHEDI staff are available to offer technical assistance to RHEDI directors and residents working on projects around abortion and reproductive health within family medicine.

Our team can assist with:

  • Formulating a research project
  • Survey and interview design
  • Analysis planning and assistance
  • Partnering around research presentations at conferences

Recent examples of collaborative projects including partnering with RHEDI faculty and colleagues at the Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana to design and field a scope of practice survey for rural family physicians, as well as partnering with RHEDI faculty at the University of Washington and WWAMI Region Practice and Research Network (WPRN) on a multi-site project assessing patients’ interest in and barriers to receiving reproductive health services in urban and rural primary care clinics.

Supporting RHEDI program evaluation

We are also always happy to share the routine evaluation data that RHEDI collects from your program’s residents with RHEDI directors and faculty. If you’re interested in exploring a potential collaborative project, please reach out to Aleza Summit, RHEDI’s Director of Research and Evaluation, at, to discuss further. We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about abortion care research in family medicine.

These core publications on abortion and contraception care in family medicine offer essential background knowledge for providers, educators, advocates.