Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1153–1159

Tobacco Education and Counseling in Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkships: A Survey of Medical School Program Directors

  • Catherine A. Powers
  • Jane Zapka
  • Sharon Phelan
  • Tulin Özcan
  • Katie Brooks Biello
  • Joseph O’Donnell
  • Alan Geller


The 16,000 medical students completing OB/GYN clerkship programs each year provide a unique opportunity to motivate and mentor students in facilitating tobacco cessation. To determine the scope of current tobacco teaching in obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) education at US medical schools and to assess opportunities for including new tobacco teaching, a 28-question survey was administered to directors and assistant directors at US medical school OB/GYN clerkship programs. Surveys were completed at 71% of schools. Only 9% reported having at least 15 min of dedicated teaching time for improving tobacco cessation skills. Nearly three-fourths of respondents reported teaching students how to intervene to reduce smoking during a work-up in the OB/GYN clinic, but only 43% reported that students would know where to refer someone wishing to quit. Only a third of respondents reported teaching students both to intervene with and refer OB/GYN patients who smoke. These findings suggest that although medical students see many OB and GYN patients who smoke, they have few opportunities to learn comprehensive cessation skills during their clerkships.


Tobacco Counseling Medical education OBGYN Clerkship education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine A. Powers
    • 1
  • Jane Zapka
    • 2
  • Sharon Phelan
    • 3
  • Tulin Özcan
    • 4
  • Katie Brooks Biello
    • 5
  • Joseph O’Donnell
    • 6
  • Alan Geller
    • 7
  1. 1.Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and PharmacoeconomicsBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and EpidemiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.Department of OB/GYNUniversity of New Mexico-AlbuquerqueAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.Department of OB/GYNUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineDartmouth Medical SchoolHanoverUSA
  7. 7.Division of Public Health PracticeHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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