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Acad Med. 2000 Jul;75(7 Suppl):S72-6.

Integrating prevention into obstetrics/gynecology.

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Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey 17033, USA.


Obstetricians and gynecologists play an important role in preventive medicine. A great deal of obstetrics and gynecology is dependent on the principles of preventive medicine, such as understanding populations, risk profiling, epidemiology, and statistics as they pertain to screening programs and prevention. Thus, it is reasonable that an ob-gyn clerkship be an integral part of a program to teach preventive medicine in a medical school. This article presents information about formats used to teach preventive medicine in ob-gyn, illustrated by specific programs at medical schools across the country. It also provides information about publications that are useful for designing and creating programs in introduce and/or integrate preventive medicine into ob-gyn clerkships and other parts of the undergraduate medicine curriculum. Obstetricians and gynecologists spend the majority of their time in the office, and most of their patient visits can be classified as preventive medicine visits. Medical students' education needs to reflect that focus. Among other things, ob-gyn must develop training directed toward students who do not intend to become obstetricians. A rotation in ob-gyn may be the only exposure a student has to health care that is specifically for women. Therefore, that clerkship must focus on preventive medicine for women as well as on treatment.

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