This month’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine includes an article by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) on the increasing rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. Among ACOG’s recommendations is “formalizing existing relationships between lower-resource hospitals that transfer pregnant women who require higher levels of maternal care.”
AAFP President John Cullen, MD issued a response, applauding ACOG for its efforts “to make a meaningful impact on maternal mortality and morbidity.” He did, however, express the importance of “ensuring an equal focus on improving care at all levels and in all hospitals, as well as relying on transfer as appropriate.”
He also highlighted how the current education and training requirements for Family Physicians prepares them to provide obstetrical care; and, that during three years of residency, “Family Physicians receive training and demonstrate the skills and competencies required to deliver high-quality maternity care in any community, including those in rural settings.”
Dr. Cullen closed by concurring that growth is needed in the physician workforce to ensure women, especially those in rural communities, have access to obstetrical care, and that AAFP looks forward to collaborating with ACOG to achieve that goal.
Click here to read AAFP’s statement in its entirety.