Training, skills and approach to high-risk obstetrics in rural GP obstetricians

Richard W. Watts, John E. Marley, Justin J. Beilby, Richard P.G. MacKinnon, Susan Doughty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


One hundred and sixty seven (82%) of the 204 practising South Australian rural GP obstetricians responded to a questionnaire on training, skills and approach to high-risk obstetrics. The mean length of training was 8.5 months; 78% of GP obstetricians held a diploma. There was a mean of 13 years experience and 22 deliveries per year. However, 26.3% of practitioners had stopped obstetrics in the previous 12 months and cited indemnity insurance and lifestyle factors as the main reason for stopping. The GPs practised a wide range of skills; forceps (96%), Caesarean section (42%) and had good access to epidural services (83.6%), blood transfusions (91%) and specialist advice. High-risk obstetrics such as twin pregnancy, fetal growth retardation, insulin-dependent diabetes and preterm labour, are avoided by most rural GP obstetricians. The mean visual analogue comfort score for providing obstetric care was 7.46 (2.16) and correlated with length of training (p = 0.008) and number of deliveries per year (p = 0.02). Health authorities must continue to support and encourage country GP obstetricians to provide this essential service to rural women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-426
Number of pages3
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


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