January 26, 2004
To All Licensed Midwives:
The issue of a midwifery student obtaining clinical experience in California
has been carefully researched and discussed with legal staff.
In any licensed health profession, a student or trainee may only provide the
services defined in the scope of practice if there is statutory authority to
do so. An example of this authority is B&P Code 2729, which states:
"Nursing services may be rendered by a student when those services are
incidental to the course of study of one of the following:
a) A student emolled in a board-approved prelicensure program or school of
b) A nurse licensed in another state or country taking a board-approved
continuing education course or a postlicensure course."
The statutes dealing with physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors, and other
health professionals contain similar enabling language. The statutes dealing
with midwifery do not contain any such authority. This has been discussed in the
past but, as there are no educational programs in California, was not
Given these facts, a student who actively participates in the provision of
midwifery care is practicing midwifery without a license and the supervising
midwife is aiding and abetting this practice.
We are developing language to submit to the Board as a proposal for statutory
change. Until such a change is passed by the legislature and signed into law,
a student may not actively participate in providing midwifery care in
Cindy J ames, Chief Licensing Program