Opportunities and barriers for family physician contribution to the maternity care workforce

Tyler W. Barreto, Aimee R. Eden, Elizabeth Rose Hansen, Lars E. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The number of family physicians providing obstetric deliveries is decreasing, but high numbers of new graduates report they intend to include obstetric deliveries in their practices. The objective of this study was to understand barriers to providing obstetrical care faced by recent family medicine residency graduates who intended to provide obstetrical care at graduation. METHODS: Email surveys were sent to graduating family medicine residents who indicated intention to include obstetrics in their practice on the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Certification Examination Registration Survey (2014-2016). We used descriptive and bivariate statistics to analyze the data. RESULTS: Of our sample of 2,098 early career family physicians, 1,016 (48.4%) responded. Seven hundred (68.9%) currently include obstetrics in their practices. Those currently including obstetrics were more likely to practice in a small rural or isolated (15.4% vs 5.2% and 4.6% vs 1.7%, P<0.001) community and report credentialing was easy (85.2% and 26.5%, respectively, P<0.001). Physicians not currently including obstetrics in their practice reported “found a job without OB” and “lifestyle concerns” as the most significant barriers. Respondents living in the Middle Atlantic and West South Central regions were least likely to provide obstetric deliveries, with fewer than 50% doing so. CONCLUSIONS: Among recent graduates who intended to practice obstetrics, finding a job without obstetrics and lifestyle concerns were the most significant barriers to realizing the scope of practice they intended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-388
Number of pages6
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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