Get access

Medical Students' Knowledge of Midwifery Practice After Didactic and Clinical Exposure


  • Lisa Hanson CNM, DNSc,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Lisa Hanson, CNM, DNSc, is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at Marquette University, where she teaches in the Nurse-Midwifery Program. She maintains a practice at the Aurora UW Nurse-Midwifery Center, Milwaukee, WI.

  • Jackie Tillett CNM, ND,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Jackie Tillett, CNM, ND, is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Aurora UW Nurse-Midwifery Center at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI.

  • Russell S. Kirby PhD

    Search for more papers by this author
    • Russell S. Kirby, PhD, FACE, is Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham. When this research was conducted, he was Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, Milwaukee Clinical Campus.

Marquette University College of Nursing, Nurse-Midwifery Program, PO Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201–1881. E-mail:


Information concerning the student outcomes of interdisciplinary education is limited. The purpose of this study was to identify the knowledge of third-year medical students regarding the practice of certified nurse-midwives (CNMs). A 1-page survey instrument was developed and pretested. The instrument was administered as a pre- and posttest at the beginning and end of 7 Obstetrics and Gynecology rotations at 2 medical school clinical campuses of a large Midwestern medical school. Direct interaction with CNMs improved knowledge of collaborative practice arrangements and roles. This was particularly evident in knowledge areas related to CNM prescriptive authority. The medical students who had direct experience with CNMs expressed more interest in working with them in the future than those who lacked the exposure. Collaborative, interdisciplinary education of medical students appeared to promote improved understanding of roles and capabilities.