Obstetrical Access in Washington State


A survey of all potential providers of obstetrical care in Washington State was conducted in 1989, and results were compared to an earlier survey to assess the extent to which obstetrical access had changed. Although the massive exodus of family physicians from obstetrical practice appeared to have slowed during the follow-up period, there was still substantial net attrition among this group of providers. By contrast, the supply of obstetricians and midwives seemed to be stable. Despite the greater obstetrical participation rate of rural practitioners, members of this group were also quitting obstetrics faster than they could be replaced.