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Being community-responsive physicians. Doing the right thing.

Author(s): Oandasan I | Malik R | Waters I | Lambert-Lanning A

Journal: Canadian Family Physician
ISSN 0008-350X

Volume: 50;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 1004;
Date: 2004;
Original page

OBJECTIVE: To explore how primary care physicians respond to a community's needs and challenges. DESIGN: Qualitative study using focus groups. SETTING: Fee-for-service practices or community health centres in downtown Toronto, Ont. PARTICIPANTS: Purposive sample of 21 community family physicians (10 women and 11 men). METHOD: Participants were invited to join focus groups of four to six physicians. Themes were derived from qualitative analysis of the data using grounded theory. MAIN FINDINGS: Three major themes were identified by these community-responsive physicians: they carry out specific roles (collaborator, health educator, advocate, resource, and tailor of care); they face several challenges, including lack of funding and a dysfunctional health care system; and they share common beliefs about practising medicine. Whether current health care structures support physicians to actually carry out these roles in practice, however, is unclear. CONCLUSION: This study increased understanding of how primary care physicians respond to community needs and what they experience in the process.
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