Research Article

GP trainees' views on hospital obstetric vocational training.

BMJ 1991; 303 doi: (Published 07 December 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;303:1447
  1. L F Smith
  1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine, University of Bristol.


    OBJECTIVES--To examine the content of hospital obstetric vocational training for general practice, the beliefs of general practitioner trainees about this training, and their perceived competence at practical obstetric procedures and the effect of training. DESIGN--Confidential postal questionnaire. SUBJECTS--A random one in four sample of all general practitioner trainees in the United Kingdom on vocational training schemes or in training practices in Autumn 1990. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Trainees' competence and beliefs on Likert scale, numbers of procedures witnessed and performed, type of maternity care trainees intended to provide. RESULTS--Of 1019 trainees sent questionnaires, 765 (75.1%) replied; 517 had done some hospital obstetric training. After six months as a senior house officer 232/367 (63%) believed they were competent to perform a normal delivery unaided, 228 (62%) to manage a severe postpartum haemorrhage, and 227 (62%) to resuscitate a newborn infant. 272 (35.6%) trainees intended to provide intrapartum care and 56 (7.5%) to book home deliveries in the future. Hospital training increased confidence in performing most obstetric procedures in all trainees. However, a greater proportion of trainees who intended to provide full care than shared care felt competent at performing a normal vaginal delivery (63% (170/272) full v 45% (215/473) shared), low forceps delivery (38% (103) v 17% (79)), manual removal of placenta (24% (65) v 17% (82)), and intubating a neonate (42% (114) v 34% (161)). Trainees who had done any obstetric training were less likely to think that training encouraged future provision of intrapartum care (113/509 (22%) training v 65/213 (31%) no training). CONCLUSION--Hospital vocational obstetric training increases the perceived competence of trainees but fails to encourage them to use obstetric skills.