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Midwives as Educators of Medical Students and Residents: Results of A National Survey

Authors

  • Edie McConaughey CNM, MS,

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    • Edie McConaughey, CNM, MS, is a Senior Clinical Teaching Associate in the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology at Women and Infants' Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

  • Elisabeth Howard CNM, PhD

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    • Elisabeth Howard, CNM, PhD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology at Women and Infants' Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.


Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology, Women and Infants' Hospital of Rhode Island, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 101 Dudley St., Providence, RI 02905. E-mail: emcconaughey@wihri.org

Abstract

This descriptive study explores the roles and responsibilities of midwives involved in teaching medical students and residents. Surveys were received from 74 academic midwifery practices in the United States that are formally involved in medical education (66% response rate). These practices employ 547 midwives. Most of these midwives have >5 years of experience as clinicians (97%) and average >5 years of experience in medical education (73%). Academic midwifery practices teach multiple learners including obstetrics and gynecology residents (80%), family practice residents (60%), medical students in their core clerkship (93%), and midwifery students (83%). Midwives are often clinical preceptors during births of the midwifery practice's patients, but they assume a more formal academic faculty role with a resident or attending physician-shared case load of patients. Forty-two percent of midwifery practices care for their own patients along with the teaching and supervision of residents' patients. Roles and responsibilities of the midwifery practice members are explored, including the percentage of time spent in specific clinical and educational functions. Clinical experience and teaching expertise of midwives are valued in medical education. Multiple opportunities exist for collaboration between midwifery and medicine.

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