The maternal mortality rate has decreased but little during the last twenty years. This is in spite of important advances in other branches of medicine, including medical research and public health education.
It is the general opinion that the time allotted to the teaching of obstetrics is too limited. Rowland1 has shown that 50 per cent of the general practitioner's time is devoted to medicine, from 25 to 35 per cent to obstetrics and the remainder to minor surgery, gynecology and a few special cases. In all the published curriculums, obstetrics, which occupies at least 30 per cent of the general practitioner's time, is allowed only 4 per cent of the total time provided for a medical course, while surgery, which occupies less than 10 per cent of the practitioner's time, is given from 15 to 18 per cent of the hours allotted to the medical course.
RILEY RH. THE PUBLIC HEALTH ASPECT OF THE TEACHING OF OBSTETRICS: IN UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL SCHOOLS. JAMA. 1936;106(17):1438–1440. doi:10.1001/jama.1936.02770170004002
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