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Fam Med. 2018 May;50(5):345-352. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2018.631796. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

Characteristics of Graduating Family Medicine Residents Who Intend to Practice Maternity Care.

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Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.
Lawrence Family Medicine Residency and the Tufts University School of Medicine.
University of Kentucky College of Medicine.



Prior research found that 24% of graduating family medicine residents intend to provide obstetrical deliveries, but only 9% of family physicians 1 to 10 years into practice are doing so. Our study aims to describe the individual and residency program characteristics associated with intention to provide obstetrical deliveries and prenatal care.


Cross-sectional data on 2014-2016 graduating residents were obtained from the American Board of Family Medicine certification examination demographic questionnaire that asked about intended provision of specific clinical activities. A hierarchical model accounting for clustering within residency programs was used to determine associations between intended provision of maternity care with individual and residency program characteristics.


Of 9,541 graduating residents, 22.7% intended to provide deliveries and 51.2% intended to provide prenatal care. Individual characteristics associated with a higher likelihood of providing deliveries included female gender, graduation from an allopathic medical school, and participation in a loan repayment program. Residency characteristics included geographic location in the Midwest or West region, training at a federally qualified health center (FQHC)-based clinic, funding as a teaching health center (THC), more months of required maternity care rotations, larger residency class size, and maternity care fellowship at residency.


Our findings suggest that increasing the proportion of graduating family medicine residents who intend to provide maternity care may be associated with increased exposure to maternity care training, more family medicine training programs in FQHCs and THCs, and expanded loan repayment programs.

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