Maternal/child care is integral to the discipline of family medicine. The LAFP advocates that every family practice resident be trained to provide primary (basic) maternal/child care. Family physicians are trained in the care of normal pregnancy and common pregnancy problems with some receiving advanced training in maternal/child care.
The scope of practice of family physicians in maternity care may include handling medical problems in pregnancy, care of low-risk pregnant patients, or care of high-risk pregnancies, including performing cesarean sections. Maternal care privileges should be based on the individual physician’s documented training and/or experience, demonstrated abilities, and current competence. Family physicians should evaluate fellow family physicians in credentialing and privileging determinations.
Recognizing that barriers to appropriate access to maternal care for women exist, including financial, geographic, workforce shortages, and the medical liability climate, the LAFP will work to provide appropriate access to maternal care for women wherever they reside. The LAFP will work to promote management models which will enable family physicians to deliver maternity care services within their scope of practice.
The LAFP will employ the following strategies for maternal/child care:
- Encourage family physicians to provide maternal/child care.
- Promote excellence in and encourage the teaching of maternal/child care in family practice residencies by family physicians.
- Establish guidelines for quality maternity care by family physicians.
- Reinforce and expand current efforts to:
- Promote maternal/child care by family physicians to the public;
- Educate the Public to have realistic expectations for birth outcomes;
- Ensure availability of training for family physicians in quality maternal/child care;
- Assist family physicians in obtaining and maintaining privileges in maternal/child care;
- Investigate financially reasonable and realistic options for professional liability insurance;
- Encourage research in outcomes-based data in maternal/child care.
(AA – 99) Readopted as written by the 2004 Board of Directors; Readopted by the 2009 Board of Directors; Readopted as written by the 2015 Board of Directors