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Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Oct;80(4):719-23.

Clinicians who provide abortions: the thinning ranks.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles.


Access to abortion services in the United States has become increasingly limited because of a decrease in rural hospital providers and a growing shortage of clinicians willing to offer this service. As of 1988, 83% of United States counties had no identified provider. The deficit in numbers of clinicians stems from the current imbalance between incentives and disincentives. The single most powerful incentive appears to be altruism. On the other hand, disincentives include poor pay, frequent harassment, low prestige, suboptimal working conditions, and tedium. In 1990 a symposium on abortion provision was held, sponsored by the National Abortion Federation and ACOG. Among the remedies suggested by the attendees were increasing the integration of abortion training into the mainstream of residency education, improving the pay and work environments for clinicians, and where feasible expanding the capacity of physician providers by using midlevel practitioners working under physician supervision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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