Assessment of the Midwifery Education Program at the University of British Columbia – A Survey of Graduates and Midwife Mentors

Cathryn Ellis, BFA, RM, MSc;

The Midwifery Program at the University of British Columbia is the only academic centre for midwifery education in British Columbia. The program consists of arts and science courses, midwifery theoretical and clinical courses, problem-based learning tutorials, laboratory simulations, clinical experiences in community midwifery, and a semester of interprofessional placements in a local or global setting. As university based midwifery education is new to British Columbia, critical evaluation of the curriculum is essential. Between 2005 and 2010, we examined the curriculum annually from the perspective of new graduates (n=34) and their mentors (n=21) to inform curriculum renewal and development. Overall graduates felt well prepared for clinical practice after graduating, and highly valued their clinical placements. Both graduates and midwife mentors reported competence with most clinical skills, and senior midwives noted the graduates’ fluency with both the hospital and home setting. Need for improvement was noted with respect to suturing and venipuncture. There were some discrepancies in the assessment of competencies. While all graduates felt well or adequately prepared to recognize and manage when a normal birth changes to abnormal, not all mentor midwives agreed. Conversely, midwife mentors felt that graduates were prepared in the area of client communication and counseling, yet graduates felt less confident in this area. Over the years, the Midwifery Education curriculum has evolved to address feedback received via the yearly curriculum evaluation. The academic calendar has been modified to allow students and faculty more time for preparation, integration and reflection during the introductory year, to facilitate the consolidation phase in the core clinical courses, and to facilitate senior research projects. Courses on counseling, pharmacology for midwives, lactation consultation, global maternity care, and anatomy labs have been added to the curriculum. The program continues its effort to enhance theoretical and clinical teaching by offering regular preceptor workshops.

evaluation, midwifery graduates, midwifery education program

This article has been peer reviewed.


Download article