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Great Minds Don't Think Alike: Collaborative Maternity Care at San Francisco General Hospital

Hutchison, Margaret S. CNM, MSN; Ennis, Linda CNM, MSN; Shaw-Battista, Jenna CNM, MS, PhD; Delgado, Ana CNM, MS; Myers, Kara CNM, MS; Cragin, Leslie CNM, MSN, PhD; Jackson, Rebecca A. MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182297d2d
Current Commentary

For more than 30 years the collaboration between obstetrician–gynecologists and certified nurse–midwives at San Francisco General Hospital has led to the provision of high-quality care to women and families. This enduring partnership has been sustained by shared goals and values, most notably a commitment to excellence in both providing care to the underserved and training the next generation of physicians and nurse–midwives. Success has also depended on a mutual respect for differences that has enabled the collaborative to capitalize on the distinct expertise of each partner. The balance struck between independence and interdependence of the practice groups has led to innovation and successes that might otherwise not have come to being, while also enabling the collaborative to overcome the inevitable conflicts and challenges that arise within this type of long-standing partnership. This model holds promise for replication in other settings and informs broader considerations of health policy and regulation.

An enduring and successful nurse-midwifery and obstetric collaboration is defined and sustained by shared values, a respect for differences, independence, and interdependence.

From the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California.

See related editorial on page 503 and related articles on pages 663, 673, and 683

Presented at the American College of Nurse-Midwives 56th Annual Meeting and Exposition, May 24–28, 2011, San Antonio, Texas.

Corresponding author: Margaret S. Hutchison, CNM, MSN, San Francisco General Hospital, 6D-24, 1001 Potrero Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2011 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.