One-year Fellowship in Obstetrics
About Essentia Health
Essentia Health is an integrated health system serving patients in four states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Idaho. Headquartered in Duluth, MN, Essentia became fully integrated in 2010 when it merged the operations of SMDC Health System, Brainerd Lakes Health, Innovis Health, Essentia Community Hospitals and Clinics, and the Essentia Institute of Rural Health.
Essentia Health combines the strengths and talents of 13,000 employees, including 750 physicians, whose mission is to provide high quality care while making patients feel known and understood. The organization is guided by the values of quality, hospitality, respect, justice, stewardship and teamwork, and delivers on its promise to be “Here with You” in 17 hospitals, 67 clinics and seven long-term care facilities.
Why an Obstetric Fellowship
For rural community hospitals to provide obstetric services it is essential that they have quality physicians on staff with training and experience in providing antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum care, who are competent and capable of performing a cesarean section when necessary with appropriate anesthesia in a timely manner.
Recent statistics indicate that the number of medical students choosing to enter primary care, and in particular Family Medicine, has been declining. Many graduates of family practice residency programs are choosing not to provide obstetric care. Many physicians that have been in Family Practice are beginning to retire. Some Family Medicine physicians are being forced to discontinue obstetric services due to the inability to be able to provide complete obstetric care, i.e. cesarean section. Due to a lack of physicians available to provide obstetric care, and the rising cost of liability insurance, some rural hospitals have ceased to provide obstetric services. This has led to a crisis in many rural communities, including Northern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin, resulting in some patients having to travel long distances to receive their prenatal care and delivery.
In an effort to alleviate this problem, Essentia Health has established a one-year fellowship in Obstetrics for family physicians (board eligible or board certified). This fellowship is directed by Essentia Health Duluth Clinic and coordinated with the Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program. Fellows completing this program will be encouraged to establish their practice in a rural setting.