Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med J Aust. 2006 Jul 17;185(2):105-9.

The independent effect of age of general practitioner on clinical practice.

Author information

  • 1Australian General Practice Statistics and Classification Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



To establish the extent to which general practitioner age alone explains variations in patient morbidity and treatment patterns.


An on-going, national survey of general practice activity in Australia.


A random sample of 5013 GPs with a minimum of 375 general practice Medicare items claimed in the previous 3 months. Each GP contributed details of 100 consecutive encounters, with about 1000 GPs sampled each year between 1998 and 2003.


Effect of practitioner age on GP activity after removing the influence of measured confounding factors: doctor, patient and practice characteristics; number of problems; and morbidity managed at encounters.


GP age played a significant role in practice style. In comparison with young GPs (< 35 years), older GPs provided more home visits (P < 0.001) and attendances at residential aged-care facilities (P = 0.044); were more likely to manage chronic problems (P < 0.001); had higher prescribing rates (P < 0.001), and lower rates of pathology ordering (P < 0.001) and non-pharmacological treatments (P < 0.001). Individual body system management rates also differed significantly between younger and older GPs.


A GP's age plays a significant role in determining practice style. Our results have implications in terms of the ageing GP population and in the wider context of the ageing medical labour force.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Australasian Medical Publishing Company
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk