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J Prim Care Community Health. 2014 Apr 1;5(2):148-51. doi: 10.1177/2150131913501519. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Rewards and challenges of community health center practice.

Author information

1
University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

More than 1100 community health centers (CHCs) in the United States provide primary care to 20 million underserved patients annually. CHCs have struggled to recruit and retain qualified physicians.

OBJECTIVE:

To understand physicians' work experiences in CHCs and identify major sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

METHODS:

Using purposeful sampling, we conducted semistructured interviews with 12 family physicians practicing in CHCs. Interview questions assessed physicians' experiences in CHCs and sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Interview notes were coded and analyzed by 2 investigators using a grounded theory approach to identify key themes.

RESULTS:

Though family physicians feel tremendous satisfaction from care of underserved patients, they are frustrated with the overwhelming workload they experience. Family physicians also report poor administrative management while working in CHCs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which relies on expansion of CHC services, may be adversely affected by family physicians' frustrations with CHC practice. Further research to explore and potentially improve the CHC work environment may be needed.

KEYWORDS:

community health centers; job satisfaction; physicians; primary health care; qualitative

PMID:
24327589
DOI:
10.1177/2150131913501519
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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