WHAT ACCOUNTS FOR PHYSICIAN OPINIONS ABOUT MIDWIFERY IN CANADA?

Authors

  • Régis Blais PhD,

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    • 1Régis Blais is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Administration and member of the Interdisciplinary Health Research Group at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

  • Jean Lambert PhD,

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    • 2Jean Lambert is Professor of biostatistics in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

  • Brigitte Maheux MD, PhD

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    • 3Brigitte Maheux is Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and member of the Interdisciplinary Health Research Group at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada.


4Address correspondence to Regis Blais, PhD, Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire en santé, Université de Montreal, P.O. Box 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal (Quebec), Canada H3C 3J7.

ABSTRACT

The objective of this study was to identify the characteristics of physicians practicing obstetrics in the province of Quebec, Canada and relate these to their opinions about midwifery practice. A self-administered questionnaire was sent to a systematic random sample of 844 physicians; 597 physicians answered (response rate = 71%). Results show that physicians who were more open to midwives had a more client-centered approach to maternity care. They had attended premed school outside Canada but received their specialty training in Canada. They also had often collaborated with midwives since they had begun practicing. Physicians who were more open to midwives were less demanding in terms of level of midwife training. They agreed that midwives should be self-regulating. It is concluded that greater knowledge of midwives' practice, gained through collaboration in the workplace and interdisciplinary education, could help physicians to better understand the significant contributions that midwives can make to the health care system. J Nurse Midwifery 1999;44:399–407 © 1999 by the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

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