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US Maternal-Fetal Specialists Receive Adequate Training

Majority of maternal-fetal clinical specialists feel adequately trained for their clinical practice

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal-fetal clinical practice is comprised mainly of ambulatory care with special focus on ultrasonography and high-risk patient management, two areas in which these specialists feel adequately trained, according to the results of a survey published in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Deborah A. Wing, M.D., of the University of California-Irvine, and a colleague conducted an anonymous Internet-based survey to determine the current scope of maternal-fetal clinical practice, and to evaluate fellowship training in this specialty. The survey was provided to members of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Of the 643 survey respondents, 92.8 percent and 80.1 percent were certified in obstetrics/gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine, respectively. Nearly half (49 percent) were in a university-based practice, while the rest were either in a university-affiliated practice (26.8 percent) or a community or hospital-based setting (24.6 percent), the survey found. The greatest proportion of time spent by the respondents consisted of ultrasonography (33.5 percent), and care (15.4 percent) or consultation (17.1 percent) for high-risk patients, the report indicates. Most felt their fellowship training had been adequate, with the majority of training time spent in high-risk pregnancy management, ultrasonography or research, the findings show.

Before this survey, the authors posed the question, "Are we training maternal-fetal medicine specialists for what they will eventually do in practice?" While admitting this survey does not fully answer this question, they state "it may point in directions for further consideration."

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