Structure and characteristics of family medicine maternity care fellowships.


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Fewer family physicians are providing maternity care. Maternity Care Fellowships (MCFs) provide training in advanced obstetrical skills, including cesarean sections. These programs lack official recognition and certification. MCF graduates have been studied, but there are no studies of the fellowships. The objective of this study was to assess the structure and organization of family medicine MCFs. METHODS We identified MCFs from the American Academy of Family Physicians website. Twenty-nine unique and active programs were included in the final sample. We surveyed programs via an anonymous internet methodology. The survey asked about program structure, organization, and educational aspects of the program. RESULTS A total of 18 programs responded, for a 62% response rate. Eighty-eight percent of MCFs were 1 year in length, and the mean number of fellows per year was 1.9. All but one program were associated with a residency training program, and 55.6% were based in community hospitals. All but two programs had a standardized curriculum. Eighty-eight percent of MCFs had obstetricians involved in teaching or clinical supervision. Mean estimated number of deliveries performed by fellows were 80 vaginal and 108 caesarian. Graduates of MCFs were largely able to obtain caesarian privileges after graduation, and many were working in rural and/or underserved areas. Many MCF directors favored formal accreditation and a standardized curriculum across programs. CONCLUSIONS Despite lack of formal accreditation, MCFs have academic affiliations and internally standardized curricula. MCFs provide an obstetric workforce for rural and underserved areas, and formal accreditation may ensure program survival and boost educational standards.

Cite this paper

@article{Peterson2014StructureAC, title={Structure and characteristics of family medicine maternity care fellowships.}, author={Lars E Peterson and Brenna E Blackburn and Robert L. Phillips and James C. Puffer}, journal={Family medicine}, year={2014}, volume={46 5}, pages={354-9} }