Maternity care by family physicians: characteristics of successful and sustainable models

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2005 May;27(5):460-6. doi: 10.1016/s1701-2163(16)30528-x.


Objective: To provide examples of sustainable and rewarding models of maternity care that can help reduce the attrition of family practitioners from intrapartum maternity care practice.

Methods: We surveyed a cohort of family physicians providing maternity care in primary care settings, using various models, to determine how each model handled the challenges of this practice.

Results: Different models of care are effective; there is no single best model of family practice maternity care. Successful models provide care for a substantial volume of patients, have call schedules that are appropriate for the volume of patients and number of participating physicians, have protocols for patient management, and have flexible and compatible clinic members.

Conclusion: Structured sign-out models of care that incorporate innovative models for funding assist many family physicians in Canada in continuing to provide maternity care. Family medicine residents must be encouraged to incorporate these models of maternity care into their future practices.

MeSH terms

  • Appointments and Schedules
  • Canada
  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Family Practice / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Patient Care Management
  • Pregnancy