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AIDS Educ Prev. 2012 Aug;24(4):377-87. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2012.24.4.377.

Need for physician education on the benefits and risks of male circumcision in the United States.

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  • 1Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Physicians may be called upon to counsel male patients or parents of newborn males regarding their decision to circumcise their newborn sons. The purpose of the present study was to describe physicians who do not understand the benefits and risks associated with male circumcision well enough to counsel parents of newborn male infants and adult men. A self-administered, cross-sectional electronic survey of physicians was conducted in 2008. We analyzed responses from 1,500 physicians (510 family practitioners, 490 internists, 250 pediatricians, and 250 obstetricians/gynecologists). Nearly 22% (n = 327/1500) reported they did not understand the risks and benefits of newborn male circumcision well enough to counsel parents and 40.3% (n = 504/1250) reported not understanding the risks and benefits well enough to counsel adult men. A substantial minority of physicians may need additional training and/or information about current male circumcision research to feel comfortable counseling parents of newborn male infants or adult men.

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