WeARE would like to introduce you to Tori Bahr, MD. Tori was born and raised in Baxter,
graduating from Brainerd Senior High in 2005. She is currently in her final year of
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at the University of Minnesota as her
program’s Chief Resident. She is originally from Baxter and a WeARE supporter. Dr.
Bahr is working to ensure Pediatricians and Internists in training gain the appropriate
skills and knowledge to provide excellent sexual health care for their future patients.
Long acting reversible contraception (LARC – e.g., IUDs and implants) is considered
one of the most reliable forms of birth control; however, this option is often not
considered standard patient care for adolescents. As an example, Dr. Bahr notes that
pediatricians who interact with new families often “refer their patients to an OB/GYN,
Planned Parenthood, or other contraceptive clinics to get this care” instead of meeting
this patient need immediately. Dr. Bahr has championed a new effort at the University of
Minnesota starting July 1, 2018 where all pediatric and internal medicine residents will
be trained to place LARCs. Her advocacy helps support WeARE’s mission and serves
the adolescent population across MN. As she notes, “ Our goal is to make access to
nexplanon (just one LARC) more readily available by preparing more pediatricians to be
able to offer this as a service within their own clinic.
WeARE: “How do you think this change in the training program for residents will impact
Tori: “We know that LARCs are the most reliable form of birth control. We also know
that adolescents are a vulnerable population often missing appointments. Further, the
AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), ACOG (American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists), and the SFP (Society for Family Planning) all
recommend this form as the first line birth control method for adolescents and
young adults. Despite this, LARC use among US females ages 15-19 is only 4.3%!
The University of Minnesota Pediatric residency program is the primary source of
Minnesota’s pediatrician work force. As such, this will provide better access to LARC
placement for Minnesota’s youth in a variety of practice settings.”
WeARE: “What are the current barriers for the availability of this form of birth control for
Tori: “Barriers to more widespread use include 1) cost and clinic operations; 2)
adolescent awareness and attitude; 3) confidentiality and 4) health care provider
knowledge, attitude and counseling [Berlan, et al. J Peds Adoles Gyn. 30 (2017):
47-52). As such, the goal of this project is to really tackle the fourth issue of health care
provider knowledge and attitude.
We need providers that either can provide this service in the clinic at point of care in a
variety of practice settings or understand what the procedure is to explain it to their
patients in a way that encourages them to get this procedure. Many providers start
patients on birth control pills, but we know that this is not the most effective way to
Tori was born and raised in Baxter, graduating from Brainerd Senior High in 2005. She
studied Biology and Chemistry at Augsburg College before obtaining her medical doctor
degree from the University of Minnesota in 2014. She is currently in her final year of
Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency at the University of Minnesota and will stay
on an additional year as her program’s Chief Resident. In this role she will continue her
work ensuring Pediatricians and Internists in training gain the appropriate skills and
knowledge to provide excellent sexual health care to their future patients. She hopes to
pursue a career working with adolescents and young adults with childhood chronic
illness and disability in order to maximize their ability to live independent and fulfilling
MORE ABOUT LARCS
LARC (Long Acting Reversible Contraception) methods are safe and effective for most
women and youth and can be removed at any time if pregnancy is desired. LARCs
●Intrauterine contraceptives (IUCs) – a health practitioner inserts a small,
T-shaped device in your uterus.
●Implants – a health practitioner inserts a thin, matchstick-sized plastic rod under
the skin of your upper arm.
LARCs available through your health practitioner are branded as Nexplanon, Mirena,
It is important to note that LARCs do not provide protection against STIs. Using
condoms during intercourse is critical to ensure you are protected.