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Characteristics of physicians practicing in alternative primary care settings: a Quebec study of local community service center physicians

Characteristics of physicians practicing in alternative primary care settings: a Quebec study of local community service center physicians

International Journal of Health Services 21(1): 49-58

Since the early 1970s, there have been two primary care networks in Quebec: the traditional one characterized by private practice remunerated on a fee-for-service basis, and the public one comprising 15 percent of physicians and characterized by salaried practice within publicly funded local community health service centers (CLSCs). Using data collected on 616 Quebec generalists, 333 in private practice and 283 in CLSCs, we compared physicians' profiles in both networks. In contrast to their colleagues in private practice, CLSC physicians are younger, more often women, and more often graduates of innovative primary care training programs. They are more sensitive to the biopsychosocial nature of health problems and to giving patients an active role in their care. Significant differences were also observed in physicians' self-reported clinical practices, more so for women than for men. The study suggests that alternative primary care settings attract physicians that are more preventive and socially oriented. As a result, they may contribute to the emergence of a more comprehensive type of medical practice in health care delivery systems.

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Accession: 039514885

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PMID: 2004872

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