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Keynote Speaker: Soo Downe
Facilitator: Catherine Salam
The growing emphasis on professionalism in midwifery and in other health and social care groups runs the risk of obscuring the critical role of vocation in these occupations. As ‘professionalism’ becomes increasingly identified with power and elitism, and with managerial control and standardization, the question of personalized, equitable, humane health care is becoming increasingly acute. This is a critical area of investigation in midwifery, for all women and childbearing people, and especially for those who are currently most marginalized. This presentation will explore some of the issues arising from the apparent conflicts between ‘professional’ and ‘vocational’ approaches to midwifery and to maternity care, in the light of some of the current issues midwives encounter, from maternal mortality to informed choice. The intention is to raise some questions for debate, and to propose that a synergy of vocational and professional ways of being might help us to create a ‘future perfect’ form of equitable maternity care.
Adapted from an earlier presentation to the RCM Research Conference 2021