What influences success in family medicine maternity care education programs? Qualitative exploration.
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OBJECTIVE: To ascertain how program leaders in family medicine characterize success in family medicine maternity care education and determine which factors influence the success of training programs. DESIGN: Qualitative research using semistructured telephone interviews. SETTING: Purposive sample of 6 family medicine programs from 5 Canadian provinces. PARTICIPANTS: Eighteen departmental leaders and program directors. METHODS: Semistructured telephone interviews were conducted with program leaders in family medicine maternity care. Departmental leaders identified maternity care programs deemed to be "successful." Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed verbatim. Team members conducted thematic analysis. MAIN FINDINGS: Participants considered their education programs to be successful in family medicine maternity care if residents achieved competency in intrapartum care, if graduates planned to include intrapartum care in their practices, and if their education programs were able to recruit and retain family medicine maternity care faculty. Five key factors were deemed to be critical to a program's success in family medicine maternity care: adequate clinical exposure, the presence of strong family medicine role models, a family medicine-friendly hospital environment, support for the education program from multiple sources, and a dedicated and supportive community of family medicine maternity care providers. CONCLUSION: Training programs wishing to achieve greater success in family medicine maternity care education should employ a multifaceted strategy that considers all 5 of the interdependent factors uncovered in our research. By paying particular attention to the informal processes that connect these factors, program leaders can preserve the possibility that family medicine residents will graduate with the competence and confidence to practise full-scope maternity care.
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