Obstetric Medicine: What is it?

Obstetric Medicine is a relatively new sub-specialty providing comprehensive care to women with medical conditions presenting before or during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period. A specialist in Obstetric Medicine will be involved in preconception counseling with the objective of reducing the impact of the medical condition on the pregnancy, explaining the impact of the pregnancy on the course of the disease and counseling on interventions and medications and their associated risks and benefits. This specialist will also be involved in diagnostic and management decisions for acute medical conditions manifesting during pregnancy or the early postpartum period. These conditions may be related to pregnancy such as preeclampsia or represent a concurrent illness that may require changes to testing, interpretation of results or therapy because of the pregnancy.

The specialist in Obstetric Medicine aims to fill the gap between general or specialised medical physicians with a high level of medical knowledge but little exposure to the pregnant patient and the Obstetrician with expertise in pregnancy but little training in chronic or pregnancy-unrelated medical conditions. The specialist in Obstetric Medicine works within a multidisciplinary team including health professionals from a variety of fields (including, but not limited to Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, nursing, medical pharmacist, , midwives, anesthesiologists, geneticists, neonatologists, dietitians, physiotherapists, general Obstetricians, other medical specialists, etc..).

The specialist in Obstetric Medicine is commonly involved in research and teaching of students and residents from a variety of fields including Internal Medicine, ObGyn, family medicine, and anesthesiology.