Midwifery knowledge and the medical student experience. An exploration of the concept of midwifery knowledge and its use in medical students' construction of knowledge during a specialist obstetric rotation


The literature concerning what medical students learn from midwives during specialist obstetric rotations is scarce. In the UK, despite a long tradition of providing midwifery attachments for medical students, it is almost non-existent. Working with midwives is arguably the only opportunity medical students have to experience holistic or social models of maternity care, focusing on normality rather than on the medical concept of risk. This study sought to discover how medical students constructed their knowledge about childbirth during a six week specialist rotation in obstetrics in a Northern English teaching hospital (NETH), with particular emphasis on whether participants assimilated any concepts from midwifery knowledge (MK). A Delphi Study, done as the first phase of the research, focused on MK, utilizing an international sample of experienced midwives. Resulting themes were used to develop the data collection tool for the second phase of the research. The research employed a qualitative case study method with students from a single year cohort comprising the case. Data were collected using a tool consisting of three problem based learning (PBL) scenarios. These were presented to the students in consecutive interviews at the beginning, the middle and the end of their obstetric rotation. Following analysis, five main themes were identified which illuminated the medical students' construction of knowledge about maternity care. These were explored and discussed. The thesis concludes with recommendations for increasing opportunities for IPE in the medical and midwifery curricula

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Bradford Scholars

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This paper was published in Bradford Scholars.

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