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Practice Clarification Regarding "Well Woman Care"

Monday, May 20, 2019


Question: Does my license as a direct entry midwife allow me to provide gynecological care (“well woman care”) to a woman who is not pregnant and is not within the eight weeks postpartum period following the birth of her baby?

Short Answer: No. A license to be a direct entry midwife does not permit you to provide gynecological care to a woman who is not pregnant and is not within the eight weeks postpartum period following the birth of her baby.

Detailed Answer: “Direct entry midwifery” is defined in ORS 687.405 as providing the following services for compensation:
(1) Supervision of the conduct of labor and childbirth;
(2) Providing advice to a parent as to the progress of childbirth;
(3) Rendering prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care; and
(4) Making newborn assessments.

This statute defines the scope of the Direct Entry Midwifery (DEM) license. Only activities that are within the list are within the scope of the DEM license. If an activity is not included in (1)-(4), it is not within the scope of a DEM license.

“Well woman care” for a client who is not prenatal, intrapartum or postpartum is not included in this definition. For example, giving a pap smear to a woman who is not pregnant and is not within the postpartum period does not fit under this statutory definition and is not covered by the DEM license.

Postpartum care is within the definition of direct entry midwifery in ORS 687.405. In OAR 332-015-0000, the Board of Direct Entry Midwifery has defined postpartum as the period of time immediately after and up to eight weeks following the birth of the baby.

Important Note: Please note that even if the Board provides an interpretation of how its laws apply to a general scope of practice question, the Health Licensing Office and the Board of Direct Entry Midwifery cannot provide any legal advice on how to proceed with individual situations. The Oregon State Bar has information on how to hire a lawyer in Oregon at www.osbar.org.

 
 

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