Obstetricians and midwives modus vivendi for current times

Edward W Weaver, Kenneth F Clark and Barbara A Vernon
Med J Aust 2005; 182 (9): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06777.x
Published online: 2 May 2005

Obstetric services need to be women-centred and based on mutual respect and collaboration

Obstetricians and midwives have complementary roles in the care of pregnant women, and each group would find survival without the other difficult. Nor would women necessarily receive the best care if access to one or other of these professions were restricted. Having complementary roles, though, has not prevented hostility or “turf” wars between the two groups, with midwives claiming that maternity services are over-medicalised,1 and obstetricians counter-claiming that there is no demand for midwife-led care.2 So what is the current modus vivendi for obstetricians and midwives, and to where feasibly could it evolve by 2020?

  • Edward W Weaver1
  • Kenneth F Clark2
  • Barbara A Vernon3

  • 1 Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Australian College of Midwives, Turner, ACT.



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