For adolescent girls and women, reproductive health services are critical at every stage of life. Yet in many countries, comprehensive reproductive health care, including family planning, is not available or accessible because there are too few trained health professionals to guide patients.
The Center for International Reproductive Health Training at the University of Michigan (CIRHT-UM) worked with medical schools to integrate hands-on, clinical training in comprehensive reproductive health care, including family planning and safe abortion. Together we committed to training the next generation of doctors, nurses and midwives to be confident, compassionate leaders in their communities.
CIRHT-UM Case Studies
Health professionals are the foundation of healthy families and thriving communities. UM-CIRHT worked with medical and midwifery and nursing schools to train the health work force of the future with comprehensive reproductive health education rooted in three areas: training, patient service and research.
CIRHT-UM partnered with medical and nursing and midwifery schools to meet client needs across the reproductive health continuum of care. The integrated curriculum prepared graduates to provide family planning and contraceptive services, comprehensive abortion care and quality counseling. Beyond the classroom, these future doctors, nurses and midwives honed their skills in simulation labs, reproductive health clinic attachments and internships.
With a sound understanding reproductive health as part of basic sciences, CIRHT-UM and partner schools built capacity for students to strengthen practical skills in their clinical years; first through the use of skills labs and then by providing care to patients, under the supervision of residents and faculty.
With hands-on training, students learn critical techniques as well as the communication and counseling skills needed to deliver quality care. Every CIRHT-UM graduate learned how to work with a patient to address her individual needs, whether it is counseling on a full range of contraceptive methods or comprehensive abortion care. When doctors, nurses and midwives understand and prioritize caring for women and girls, they will help reduce the stigma that too often surrounds reproductive health services.
Asking critical questions helps us understand the impact of our work. CIRHT-UM fostered a ‘team science’ approach to research—encouraging students and faculty to collaborate to collect local data and find answers through scientific exploration.