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
Rural health professionals are aware of the crisis in providing obstetric services in rural communities. Many physicians that provided obstetric care and cesarean sections are retiring. It is becoming increasingly difficult to replace them with family medicine physicians interested in providing obstetrical care. This is especially problematic in our rural communities where family physicians are often the only physicians accessible for obstetric care and cesarean sections. If you cannot provide cesarean sections, your hospital cannot provide any obstetric services.
Studies indicate one reason family physicians do not wish to provide obstetrical care is concern related to bad outcomes and liability. This may be due to the decreased amount of obstetric training family medicine physicians receive during residency. In recent years the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has increased work hour restrictions and decreased required obstetric experiences for family medicine residents, both of which contribute to a decrease in obstetrical training.
In response to this problem Essentia Health developed an obstetrical fellowship for family medicine physicians. This one-year obstetrical fellowship program provides a family medicine physician six months of managing high-risk obstetrical cases and cesarean section training, as well as an opportunity to use these skills and knowledge while practicing family medicine at a rural clinic. Through advanced training, family medicine physicians further develop their skills and gain confidence to provide obstetrical care in rural communities. Fellows completing this program will be encouraged to establish their practice in a rural setting.