A questionnaire was designed based on current recommendations for pre-conception care and care of women at the time of diagnosis of pregnancy to evaluate internal medicine residents’ attitudes, knowledge, and clinical management skills in the pre-conception care of healthy women and women who have chronic diseases during their reproductive years. Method. In early 1991, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 104 internal medicine residents at Cook County Hospital, a large, inner-city public hospital. Statistical analysis included the use of chi-square comparison, Pearson correlation, and Student’s f-test. Results. Seventy-nine of the residents completed questionnaires. Their levels of knowledge and management skills regarding pre-conception care were relatively low compared with standard recommendations. The residents’ attitudes, however, were favorable toward the importance of the topic. Residency training did not appear to improve the residents’ management skills, as there was no significant difference in skills among the first-, second-, and third-year residents. Conclusion. That the residents’ levels of knowledge and management skills were low (despite their favorable attitudes) suggests that the current curriculum for primary care training in internal medicine needs to be revised to improve the readiness of residents to take care of women of reproductive age.
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