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Family physicians who have focused practices in oncology: results of a national survey.

Sisler JJ, et al. Can Fam Physician. 2013.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To characterize the demographic characteristics, practice profile, and current work life of general practitioners in oncology (GPOs) for the first time.

DESIGN: National Web survey performed in March 2011.

SETTING: Canada.

PARTICIPANTS: Members of the national GPO organization. Respondents were asked to forward the survey to non-member colleagues.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Profile of work as GPOs and in other medical roles, training received, demographic characteristics, and professional satisfaction.

RESULTS: The response rate was 73.3% for members of the Canadian Association of General Practitioners in Oncology; overall, 120 surveys were completed. Respondents worked in similar proportions in small and larger communities. About 60% of them had participated in formal training programs. Most respondents worked part-time as GPOs and also worked in other medical roles, particularly palliative care, primary care practice, teaching, and hospital work. More GPOs from cities with populations of greater than 100 000 worked solely as GPOs than those from smaller communities (P = .0057). General practitioners in oncology played a variety of roles in the cancer care system, particularly in systemic therapy, palliative care, inpatient care, and teaching. As a group, more than half of respondents were involved in the care of each of the 11 common cancer types. Overall, 87.8% of respondents worked in outpatient care, 59.1% provided inpatient care, and 33.0% provided on-call services; 92.8% were satisfied with their work as GPOs.

CONCLUSION: General practitioners in oncology are involved in all cancer care settings and usually combine this work with other roles, particularly with palliative care in rural Canada. Training is inconsistent but initiatives are under way to address this. Job satisfaction is better than that of Canadian FPs in general. As generalists, FPs bring a valuable skill set to their work as GPOs in the cancer care system.

PMID

23766068 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

PMCID

PMC3681472

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