Background: Knowledge of family planning and reproductive health is recommended as part of the Core Competencies for Internal Medicine (IM) trainees 1 , yet is rarely assessed. Objective: This pilot study explored the need for and efficacy of a didactic session to impact fertility knowledge among IM residents
Methods: IM residents at a single institution were recruited via email to voluntarily attend a didactic session on fertility in March of 2018. Attendees of the session voluntarily completed a survey to assess demographics and fertility knowledge, measured by the validated Fertility & Infertility Treatment Knowledge Score (FIT-KS), both before (“pre-test”) and after (“post-test”) the intervention.
Results: Of 108 possible residents, thirty residents attended the session (27%). Of those who attended eighteen completed the pre-test survey (60%), and ten completed a portion of the post-test survey (33%). There was no significant association between fertility knowledge and demographics. The mean pre-test FIT-KS score was 65.1% (+/- 9.1%). The post-test mean FIT-KS score was 70.3% (+/-8.8%). Seven participants (response rate of 6.5%) completed both the pre and post-test with their average matched score improving from 64% (+/- 8.2) to 72.4% (+/- 4.9) (p=0.047). In the paired analysis, the rates of feeling comfortable answering patient questions about fertility increased from 14% to 57%.
Conclusions: Substantial gaps exist in fertility knowledge among IM residents, with understanding of male fertility being particularly limited. Despite a small sample size, the intervention significantly improved IM residents’ fertility knowledge and their comfort in discussing fertility with patients.