An approach to maternity care education for Canadian family medicine residents. Discussion Paper.

College of Family Physicians of Canada. Maternity and Newborn Care Committee.

Competence in maternity and newborn care is a prerequisite for Certification in Family Medicine in Canada. In its Standards for the Accreditation of Residency Training Programs in Family Medicine, The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) requires that all family medicine residents, within their continuity experience, have the opportunity to follow some (preferably six or more) pregnant women to term and through labour and delivery. Residents must have an adequate experience in maternity care, including intrapartum care and birth, preferably in settings involving family physicians. However, residency programmes are being challenged by situations where:

  • fewer and fewer faculty are role models who provide intrapartum care;
  • competition exists for appropriate clinical placements in maternity care; and,
  • the majority of family residents entering the programme do not plan to provide intrapartum care upon graduation. 

It is hoped that this document will support the development of maternity and newborn training experiences that offer the next generation of family physicians opportunities and the motivation to become competent maternity care providers who also include the very important aspects of intrapartum maternity care in their practices. The Maternity and Newborn Care Committee (MNCC) of the CFPC supports the College’s accreditation standards for maternity care. This document has been written as a resource to the College’s Accreditation Committee and to the various Family Medicine training programmes seeking to enhance learning experiences for family medicine residents and to maintain a focus on the development of skills in a minimum set of core competencies.

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