A Pilot Project of Collaborative Maternity Education: Understanding Perspectives from Family Medicine and Midwifery

Beth Murray-Davis, RM, PhD; Elizabeth Shaw, MD; Brian Kerley, MD; and Sandy Knight, RM

Background: In Canada, the decreasing numbers of family physicians and the small number of midwives providing obstetric care have been associated with a decline in access to maternity services. Several studies and policy documents support the development of models to enhance collaboration between midwives and physicians and to expose trainees to these models. A pilot project was undertaken to implement and evaluate an interprofessional learning opportunity involving midwifery students (MWSs) and family medicine residents (FMRs).
Methods: The aim was to describe how FMRs and MWSs develop skills to collaborate, and to identify the feasibility of this type of education. A convenience sample of 12 FMRs and 6 MWSs in a southern Ontario suburban community and their preceptors participated in a series of educational seminars and a clinical placement within the midwifery practice. Qualitative focus groups and interviews were conducted, and data were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: Qualitative analysis highlighted themes relating to the engaging of learners, logistical challenges, and the perceived value of interprofessional education (IPE).
Conclusions: This pilot project highlights barriers to and enablers of IPE. The findings will inform the modification of the project for future use and suggest that this project could be a useful model of IPE for primary maternity care.

interprofessional education, maternity care, collaboration

This article has been peer reviewed.


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