The New Family Physician
Eliezer Kitai, Avraham Sandiuk, Michael Weingarten, Shlomo Vinker
Dept. of Family Medicine, Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus), Petah Tikva and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
The content of all consultations of a family physician during the first 2 months in a new practice and again in the same 2 months, 2 years later were analyzed. The workload did not change between the 2 periods, but in the first period there were relatively more men over the age of 60 years, and a more marked predominance of women in the 45-59 year age-group.
There were more follow-ups of pre-existing conditions during the first period, but in both periods the main reason for visits was an acute condition; a quarter of visits required only simple counseling without further investigation or prescribing of medication. During the first period 9% of visits were for the explicit purpose of getting to know the new physician, usually by women.
Thus the initial period in a new practice is not excessively burdensome, but involves seeing a number of patients who come either simply to get to know the new doctor, or to present non-chronic problems without expectation of further investigation.