If you clicked on this you either know what ACOG is, or you want to find out. Well ACOG stands for American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. It is the organization that comprises many of the resources Obstetricians and Gynecologists use. They also regulates and dictate current practice guidelines and recommendations. As a future ObGyn, I am always looking for new resources to talk to and educate my patients. I know there were a lot of ACOG resources for physicians.What I didn’t know was how many they had for patients. Let me tell you there are quite a few more than you think.
Recently, thanks to a friend, I discovered a pretty cool service from ACOG for patients. That one thing inspired me to find out what other resources they had that we as healthcare providers, or you as patients may not know about. So, I investigated and found 7 services or resources that ACOG provides that you reading this may not know about!
The ACOG has a page dedicated to resources on Emergency Contraception for both Ob-Gyns and patients. Among these resources is the Emergency Contraception Website. This is a page that has a Hotline for patients in need of information about emergency contraception or needing to obtain it. It is run by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University and by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Coupled with the information they provide, they also feature a guide by zip code to find professionals in your area. In addition to this, they have resources for women all over the world. If you are a women in need of emergency contraception, or are just curious to learn more about the subject this is a great place to start.
One emergency contraception alternative is the Copper IUD. To learn more about the IUD check out my experience learning to insert one!
This is an amazing resource for pregnant women everywhere. I learned of this book a few years ago because I wanted to get it for my best friend when she was pregnant. The ACOG has pooled numerous important questions and bouts of information for the whole pregnancy experience in this book. In particular I like the fact that it is book is incredibly informative and educational for patients. It takes the time and effort to explain every aspect of pregnancy to the patient. I find the price to be very good, at or under $16.95 and you can even get it on Amazon! Another great feature of this book is that it comes on both English and Spanish. With all of this in mind if you or anyone in your life in looking for a pregnancy or is currently pregnant this is a great buy.
One of my favorite aspects of being a physician is educating my patients and making them feel like they are an important part of their health and care. A really cool and easy way to do this is giving them resources they can use and bring to their appointment. I found this worksheet that has dissects the whole appointment and even has areas for you to write down questions and symptoms. It also gives you advice on things to brainstorm before, during and after the appointment. All of these things help you be more prepared for when the day comes, you know what to expect from your doctor. In addition to this worksheet, they have a page with sections by age group on the importance of and what to expect from your yearly Gyn visit. Both of these seem like super helpful tools for providers to give to their patients.
Let me know in the comments below if you would like me to prepare a post on what to expect and how to prepare for your yearly Ob-Gyn visit!
Another equally important topic they have resources on is Teenage Issues. As parents, siblings, and even healthcare providers we sometimes struggle talking to our adolescents. Especially when it comes to sexuality, gender dysphoria, and birth control. Luckily, ACOG has complied several resources on all of these topics! They are all in PDF format and are very easy to read. The provide our teens with valuable information and extra resources on the topic. In the event that we find ourselves struggling with any of these topics, these resources provide a safe and valuable piece of information. I love using these to find new ways to connect with teenagers and get the message across and that they receive it properly. You can find all of the resources available HERE.
Not everyone is eager to read about medical topics. Thankfully, the ACOG has developed videos to help patients get educated about certain topics. At this moment there are 2 videos live, one about Pelvic Organ Prolapse and about the Zika Virus and Pregnancy. These are both very important topics and there is a large amount of misinformation out there about these topics. The best part about these videos is that they are short and visual aids which might help patients better comprehend the information in them. On the other hand, they also provide a way to get a better idea of what these conditions are and what to expect from them.
When I learned of this service I was absolutely excited to share it. This Breastfeeding Toolkit is a great resource for patients and healthcare providers to encourage breastfeeding. In this case it is done by providing crucial information that will expand and enhance knowledge about the subject of breastfeeding. From pamphlets to infographics there are multiple beneficial tools that will help physicians and patients be better at promoting breastfeeding. We all know breastfeeding can be a very difficult task, but with the availability of these resources we can give our patients a better chance at successfully doing it.
Finally, in the modern world there is basically an app for everything, including pregnancy. There is a large number of apps out there with information and advice for pregnant women and new moms. Even though they are mostly well intended some can be misinforming to patients. With this in mind, I think that the fact that the ACOG has developed an app for patients is an amazing thing. There is an app that has everything pregnant women need to know from when to visit your Ob-Gyn to which medications you can and cannot take. It is called text4baby. In the app you will find everything you need to know and answers to all of the questions you might have. They also have a variety of fun quizzes and even updates on your baby’s growth and development.
I love that they have so many things accessible for patients to take part in their own care. This accessibility is essential to further expand their knowledge on their health and body. All of this helps make our patients active participants in their own care. There is tremendous empowerment and self confidence that comes from this knowledge. These are the kind of things that drive me to always put my patient’s education as a pillar of my practice of medicine.
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