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Participation in medical activities beyond standard consultations by Swiss general practitioners: a cross-sectional study

Few data exist to support the observation that general practitioners (GPs) occupy many important positions in our communities or to characterize which GPs devote more of their time to such activities. We sought to characterize community-based complementary medical activities performed by GPs in the canton Vaud, Switzerland. All GPs in a region were invited to participate in a cross-sectional study (n = 600) examining engagement in complementary activities beyond standard ambulatory consultations. Categories included teaching, care giving in specific structures, roles as medical experts or company doctors, community care giving, and others completed by the GP. GPs were asked the number of hours devoted monthly to each activity and whether or not they are remunerated for this work. One hundred and sixty-eight GPs responded (28%), with 149 (92%) reporting that they were engaged in at least one activity beyond their in-office consultations, including 117 (72%) in community care-giving (ex: care for addictions or refugees). Altogether, GPs spend on average 5.8 h a week on these activities. One-hundred and twenty-three GPs (82%) were remunerated for at least one of their complementary engagements. Predictors of participation in a larger number of complementary activities were working in a rural area (IRR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.57) and having a higher weekly workload (IRR 1.01 for each additional hour, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.02). The vast majority of GPs engage in activities beyond their standard clinic tasks and they are typically reimbursed. GPs in rural areas and those who work more hours per week are more likely to engage in complementary activities.

Authors: Jakob J; Cohidon C; Cornuz J; Selby K

BMC Fam Pract. 2018 May 03;19(1):52. Epub 2018-05-03.

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