Making the case for an obstetric medicine subspecialty in South Africa

J Zamparini, L Wium


Obstetric medicine is a subspecialty of internal medicine that involves the management of medical conditions that may affect the course of pregnancy. It is an established subspecialty in many parts of the world, with recognised training programmes and an active international society; however, no formal training programme has been developed in South Africa (SA) as yet. Medical problems are responsible for the majority (60%) of maternal deaths in SA and women of childbearing potential are disproportionately affected by medical conditions such as HIV and obesity. Obstetric physicians would play a complementary role in the care of pregnant patients and could contribute to improving maternal health and lowering the maternal mortality rate in SA.

Authors' affiliations

J Zamparini, Department of Medicine, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

L Wium, Department of Internal Medicine, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Obstetric Medicine; Internal Medicine; HIV; Hypertension; Maternal Mortality

Cite this article

South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2020;26(2):46-47. DOI:10.7196/sajog.1589

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-06-11
Date published: 2020-12-15

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