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The rural and urban realities of family medicine
CMAJ 2001;164(11):1611 [PDF]

 Other Pulse articles / Autres chroniques Médicogramme 

The CMA's 2000 Physician Resource Questionnaire found that rural general practitioners and family physicians are much more likely than their urban colleagues to do emergency room work and perform other duties outside of their office-based practice responsibilities.

The survey of GP/FP practice patterns found rural GP/FPs were more than twice as likely as their urban counterparts to perform some emergency room work (38% versus 15%). The survey also found that age is a factor in ER work: 31% of all GP/FPs aged 34 and under worked in an ER, compared with less than 20% of GP/FPs in all other age groups. The amount of time spent in the ER decreases with age, dropping from 15.6 hours per week in the under-35 age group to 9.9 hours per week in the 55–64 age group.

About 20% of GP/FPs younger than 65 and 15% of those aged 65 and older spend some time doing surgery or surgical assisting during an average week. Total hours spent on this activity are relatively low, ranging from 2.7 hours per week (GP/FPs 35 and under) to 4.2 hours per week (GP/FPs aged 55–64).

Rural GP/FPs are more likely to do obstetrical work than urban doctors (28% vs. 15%), although urban GP/FPs are involved in more deliveries (46 per year) than rural GP/FPs (25 per year). Female GP/FPs are as likely to handle deliveries as their male counterparts, but women who provide the service deal with significantly more deliveries per capita than their male colleagues (52 per year v. 34). —Shelley Martin,



Copyright 2001 Canadian Medical Association or its licensors