Fall, 2015

The Midwives
A midwife who teaches at East Carolina University School of Medicine in the midwife program states that the midwife program does not consider ultrasound as a core competency. She says that at this level of study there is no need for further education in ultrasound. According to her, some of her graduating midwives were interested in the study of ultrasound hoping it would enhance their skills and land them a better job. She said when she was working as a midwife in a private practice they had sonographers at their fingertips so doing your own ultrasound was never needed. She stated that she felt ultrasound competency in assessing amniotic fluid volumes, fetal position, and fetal heart tones would be beneficial to midwives who open their own practice, worked at a birthing center, or in rural areas. She stated that after being a midwife for years she did not feel midwives should be doing Detailed OB/GYN studies.

The High Risk OB Sonographers
A Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist trained in ultrasound felt it would be difficult for a midwife to perform the volume of scanning required to maintain proficiencies in OB/GYN ultrasound studies. She was concerned that the artifacts and pitfalls of ultrasound would easily be misinterpreted by those not highly skilled and experienced in this field. She was also concerned that the focused OB/GYN ultrasound scan would be reduced to some quick look or cut down version. She felt images of normal anatomy would be misinterpreted. (Example hernia of bowel, marginal cord insertion, etc).

She said the two ultrasound studies most helpful for midwives to perform would be fetal heart tones and fetal position. Competency in these types of ultrasound studies would prevent the midwife working at a Health Department or rural area from having to send that patient to the hospital for a limited ultrasound study. Some OB/GYN sonographers feel this midwife ultrasound certificate oversimplifies the difficulty of obtaining an OB/GYN degree. After years of experience in performing focused, targeted, detailed OB/GYN studies; these highly trained sonographers realize how scans could be misinterpreted.

The General Medicine Folks
A faculty member at East Carolina University School of Medicine feels having a Midwife ultrasound exam is great. More and more branches of medicine are performing ultrasound. To have an exam that will prove competency is always a good thing for the public safety.

Do you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns about the Midwife Sonography Certificate offered through ARDMS? To contribute to the conversation, please post your comments or opinions on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you.