Working together to strengthen primary maternity care

As leaders in primary health care, family physicians work in a wide range of partnerships to offer and support timely and accessible patient care. And, family physicians are keenly aware of the importance of locums in providing continuous patient care. Doctors value their locum colleagues for their flexibility and their variety of experiences. In addition to providing relief coverage, locums also provide follow-up to acute care patients, bridge retirement transitions, and meet increasing demands for primary care, including obstetrical care.

Dr Emily Botting, a locum physician in Greater Vancouver and in rural BC communities, is motivated to offer low-risk maternity care as it enables her to work collaboratively as a part of a health care team.

“[For me,] providing maternity care is a part of truly providing full-service family medicine,” says Dr Botting, who provides locum obstetrical care. “[It] also offers family physicians a means of being experts in an area of procedural medicine, and hospital work,” says Dr Botting.

As a commitment to improve the challenges of maternity coverage and to increase the number of family physicians who practice general obstetrics, the GPSC offers its Maternity Care for BC (MC4BC) program. MC4BC promotes, supports, and trains BC family physicians to reconnect with low-risk maternity services through mentorship, hands-on experience, and financial support. MC4BC is designed for family physicians to begin, maintain, or reintroduce obstetrical care in their practices.

Dr Botting participated in the self-directed MC4BC program to enhance her skills and increase her experience in maternity care. As a recent graduate, Dr Botting completed the MC4BC program within the first six months of finishing her residency.

“[MC4BC offered] the ability to do more OB training after finishing my residency in order to feel more comfortable and competent providing maternity care independently,” says Dr Botting, who has now been practicing family medicine for two years.

During her MC4BC training at a high volume centre, Dr Botting gained experience with high risk patients and deliveries, including vacuum assisted deliveries and monitoring of labour and delivery.

“I think I am now able to provide more confident, competent care than I did previously,” says Dr Botting.

For continued connection, support, and learning, MC4BC offers participants post-program mentorship and antenatal/postpartum care support.

“You won’t get another chance like this to provide care while being mentored,” says Dr Botting.