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J Nurse Midwifery. 1983 Jul-Aug;28(4):37-8.

Midwifery in France.



Describes the scope of midwifery practice in France and outlines the program of study and requirements for registration. In France, midwifery is considered a medical profession. Under French law, the practice of midwifery includes all acts that are necessary to the diagnosis of pregnancy, prenatal care, psychoprophylactic preparation for delivery, supervision and care during delivery, and postnatal care of the mother and infant. Midwives may also prescribe some medications and conduct laboratory and radiographic studies. They practice in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and special programs. All of the 33 midwife schools in France are associated with a University Hospital Center. Before entering a midwife program, candidates must pass written exams on the level of a B.A. in Science. The midwife program is 3 years of full-time study; students are continuously tested. To be certified, a student must pass written and oral tests and must attend 40 deliveries, including 2 breech births. In 1983, an agreement became effective in France and throughout the European Economic Community (EEC) which enabled any midwife who obtained her diploma in the EEC to practice in any of its 9 member countries. This required the EEC countries to establish equivalents for the diplomas awarded by different nations. It is difficult for French midwives, who are considered medical professionals in their own country, to understand why midwives in other countries do not hold similar status since they have the same responsibilities and competence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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