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Who Will Deliver our Babies? Crisis in the Physician Workforce


Recruitment, retention, and distribution of the primary care physician workforce remains one of the nation’s more complex and persistent problems. Obstetrics and gynecology has become particularly prone to workforce challenges in relationship to concerns surrounding professional liability, lifestyle, declining medical student interest, reductions in the numbers of OBGyn residency programs, and increasing sub-specialization by graduating residents. These trends are associated with inadequate access to maternal and reproductive care, especially in underserved communities. This is particularly concerning given the persistent disparities in maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes. Addressing these concerns will require an emphasis on innovative models for the provision of primary care services in general and maternity care in particular. The MCH model for Family Medicine OB Fellowship programs has been designed to provide advanced training in Obstetrics for family physicians using a family medicine approach to primary care for women and their children.