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Fam Med. 2001 Nov-Dec;33(10):766-71.

Rural-urban and gender differences in procedures performed by family practice residency graduates.

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Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.



We compared the types of procedures performed and obstetrical care provided by family practice residency graduates, by practice location and physician gender


We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of 702 graduates who completed family practice residency programs in Alberta, Canada, from 1985 to 1995, inclusive. Graduates were asked to indicate which of 28 procedures and 7 obstetrical care practices they performed. The data were analyzed by gender and current practice location.


A total of 442 (63%) of the graduates responded to the survey. The top five procedures performed by family practice graduates were minor office surgery, foreign body removal (eye), joint aspiration, joint injection, and anterior nasal packing. There was a declining trend in the number of procedures performed by family practice graduates from rural, to regional, to metropolitan areas. Relatively more males performed procedures; however, more females did IUD insertion and obstetrical care practice. Except for a few exceptions, a similar proportion of male and female graduates in rural practice performed procedures.


The procedural and obstetrical care pattern of practice differs between family practice graduates in rural and urban areas, as well as between male andfemale graduates. Family practice residency programs should consider additional training in procedural skills for those planning to practice in rural areas, as well as encourage females to become skilled at performing procedures relevant to family practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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