• Lisa L. Paine CNM, MS, MPH,

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    • Lisa L. Paine, CNM, MS, MPH, is a nurse-midwife at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and an Assistant, Department of GYN/OB, at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. She received her MS and nurse-midwifery education at the University of Utah in 1982 and her MPH at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health in 1987. She is currently a DrPH candidate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Björg Pálsdóttir NM

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    • Björg Pálsdóttir, NM, is a nurse-midwife at the University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland. She graduated from the Nursing School of Iceland in 1981 and the Midwifery School of Iceland in 1984. She has done international relief work sponsored by the Icelandic Church Aid including the practice of midwifery and nursing in Wollo Province in Northern Ethiopia in 1985. She also serves as president of the Division of Nurse-Midwives within the Icelandic Nurse's Society. Björg attended the 1986 Convention of the American College of Nurse-Midwives in Portland, Oregon.

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An American nurse-midwife recently visited several midwives at the University Hospital in Reykjavík, Iceland, and a community hospital in Akranes, Iceland. Midwives were observed during their attendance at several births, as well as in all other areas of their practice. This paper includes a look at the Icelandic health system, the role of the midwife, midwifery education, and midwifery practices. The practice and education of midwives in Iceland is contrasted to that of nurse-midwives in the United States.