Scope of Practice Among Family Physicians

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While some studies have shown that family physicians’ scope of practice may be shrinking, a recent study, which included researchers from Oregon Health & Science University and the American Board of Family Medicine, indicates graduates of residencies engaged in significant educational redesign report a broad scope of practice.

The research team surveyed 507 graduates involved in the P4 project 18 months after residency between 2008-2014. The Preparing the Personal Physician for Practice (P4) project was designed to improve the graduate medical education of family physicians so they were better prepared to be outstanding personal physicians and work in emerging new models of care. Their report assessed 25 clinical activities and 30 procedures. Compared to national data, P4 graduates reported higher rates for vaginal deliveries, adult in-patient care and nursing home care in their practice. The distribution of P4 graduates by region was14% West, 17% Midwest, 24% Southwest, 11% Southeast, and 26% Northeast. No statistical differences were found across P4 innovation implementation groups for sex, race, community size, underserved practice setting, mean work hours/week, or visit volume

Graduates exposed to innovations that lengthened training as part of the P4 project, compared to standard training length, were also more likely to include adult hospital care, adult ICU care and newborn resuscitation in their practice.

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Correspondence and inquiries should be addressed to: Dr. Eiff, Oregon Health & Science University-Department of Family Medicine, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239. 503-494-6610. Fax: 503-494-4496. eiff(at)ohsu(dot)edu.

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Jane Ireland

Jane Ireland
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