Experiences of family medicine residents in primary care obstetrics training

Fam Med. 2012 Mar;44(3):178-82.


Background and objectives: Obstetrical practice by family physicians has been declining rapidly for many reasons over the past number of decades. One reason for this trend is family medicine residents not considering intrapartum care as part of their future careers. Decisions such as this may be related to experiences during obstetrical training. This study explored the experiences of family medicine residents in core primary care obstetrics training.

Methods: Using qualitative approaches, focus groups of family medicine residents were conducted. The resulting data were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Independent and team analysis was both iterative and interpretive.

Results: Data obtained from the focus groups revealed findings relating to the following categories: (1) perceived facilitators to practicing primary care obstetrics, (2) perceived barriers to practicing primary care obstetrics, and (3) learner experiences at the fulcrum of career decision making.

Conclusion: Family medicine residents were encouraged by favorable learning experiences and group shared-call arrangements by their primary care obstetrics preceptors. Some concerns about a career including obstetrics persisted; however, positive experiences, including influential fulcrum points, may inspire family medicine residents to pursue a career involving primary care obstetrics.

MeSH terms

  • Alberta
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Career Choice*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires