Scope, Content, and Availability of Health Professions Education

Many shortcomings impact the education of the physicians, midwives, and nurses who provide maternity care. Maternity care education and training tend to be disease-focused with insufficient emphasis on knowledge and skills to prevent complications, promote health, and support physiologic pregnancy, birth, and early parenting. Although health professionals work in teams, they are educated separately and their education does not help them learn how to work effectively together. Skills for critically appraising research reports are not systematically incorporated into maternity health professional education. Current continuing education requirements are poorly aligned with the goal of bringing about practice improvement. A functional system for training maternity care professionals would give significant attention to prevention and wellness, foster collaboration across disciplines, and be grounded in evidence-based practice.

Read more about health professions education PROBLEMS and GOALS >>

Major Recommendations

  1. Align funding for health professions education with national goals for high-quality, high-value maternity care and workforce development.
  2. Develop a common core curriculum for all maternity care provider disciplines that emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention
  3. Ensure that students in each discipline have opportunities to learn from an interdisciplinary teaching team.
  4. Improve the quality and effectiveness of continuing education in all maternity care professions, and align maintenance of certification with performance measures.

Learn more about the ACTION STEPS for implementing these recommendations. >>

Learn More, Make Change: Resources for Improvement