At the 2018 AAFP Congress of Delegates last fall, a Georgia AFP alternate delegate told her colleagues that her state faced an obstetrics crisis.
"Seventy-nine of Georgia's 159 counties do not have a single obstetric provider," Mitzi Rubin, M.D., of Atlanta, said during the Oct. 8 Reference Committee on Organization and Finance hearing. "No family physician delivering, no midwife, no OB/Gyn."
That trend is not exclusive to the Peach State.
The same day, family physicians discussed a resolution -- sponsored by the Wisconsin and Texas chapters -- proposing that the AAFP work with the National Rural Health Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other engaged groups to address the growing loss of rural obstetrical services. A substitute resolution adopted Oct. 9 recommended other robust partnerships.
Now the Academy is laying the groundwork for internal connections to address the obstetrics crunch and the accompanying national uptick in maternal mortality.
The AAFP recently introduced a member interest group (MIG) dedicated to obstetrics. The mission: "Promote evidence-based practice in obstetrics and maternity care and help AAFP members integrate comprehensive maternity health care into their practices." It's the 17th MIG launched since the Academy began organizing the networking-and-idea forums in 2014.
Chairing the obstetrics MIG is Zita Magloire, M.D., of Cairo, Ga. The vice chair is Amy Wiser, M.D., of Portland, Ore., and the secretary is Tracy Williams, M.D., of Wichita, Kan. The oversight commission for the obstetrics MIG is the Commission on Health of the Public and Science.
The objectives of the new MIG are to
- promote evidence-based practice in obstetrics and maternity care;
- suggest topics for CME activities related to obstetrics and maternity care;
- help AAFP members integrate comprehensive maternity care into their practices;
- serve as a resource for students, residents and physicians who practice or desire to practice obstetrics;
- advocate for training in obstetrics as part of the family medicine resident curriculum;
- advocate for family physician privileging and practice opportunities in full-scope obstetrics and maternity care; and
- assist the AAFP in membership recruitment and retention of family physicians practicing obstetrics and maternity care.
Its long-term goals are to
- establish a network for medical students, family medicine residents and physicians to connect and share issues regarding practicing maternity care;
- identify gaps in residency, post-residency, and CME training, as well as to create educational materials and workshops for these areas; and
- develop ready-to-use materials for physicians applying for obstetric privileges.
To sign up, click the "Visit the Community" button on the MIG's page and then visit the other MIGs:
- academic mentorship,
- adolescent health,
- breastfeeding medicine,
- community health,
- direct primary care,
- emergency medicine/urgent care,
- global health,
- hospital medicine,
- independent solo/small group practice,
- lifestyle medicine,
- oral health,
- point-of-care ultrasound,
- reproductive health care,
- rural health,
- single payer health care and
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