Diagnostic and Screening Procedures in Family Practice
Past, Present, and Future Use
William R. Phillips, MD, MPH
Arch Fam Med. 1993;2(10):1051-1057.
This report documents the experience, current practices, and plans of family physicians regarding their use of clinical procedures in diagnosis, screening, and prevention.
A mailed survey of family physicians asked who offered or planned to add a variety of clinical procedures in their practices.
Active members of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians.
Main Outcome Measures
Does the physician include the procedure in his or her current practice or plan to add it in the future?
Questionnaires were returned by 790 (82%) of 963 physicians, with 750 usable responses. Eighty-four percent of respondents were male and 68% had trained for at least 3 years. The median age of respondents was 40 years. Procedures performed by most respondents included the following: Papanicolaou's smear (97%), electrocardiography (80% performed it and 71% interpreted the results), endometrial biopsy (66%), pulmonary function test (61%), rigid sigmoidoscopy (58%), chest roentgenogram interpretation (54%), flexible sigmoidoscopy (52%), performing chest roentgenography (51%), and endocervical curettage (51%). Procedures most often planned to be added by respondents included flexible sigmoidoscopy (59%), colposcopy (30%), endometrial biopsy (23%), pulmonary function test (18%), smoking cessation groups (16%), exercise tolerance test (14%), and fine-needle aspiration biopsy (14%). Forty-two percent of respondents volunteered to teach these procedures to their colleagues.
Family practice includes a wide variety of procedures used in diagnosis, screening, and prevention. Family physicians are eager to add procedures to their practices and to teach their colleagues the procedures they know.
From the Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.
THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES
Colposcopy for Family Physicians
Arch Fam Med 1994;3:400-401.
Colposcopy Dilemma in Washington
Arch Fam Med 1994;3:401-402.
Growth of Diagnostic Skills in Family Practice
Arch Fam Med 1994;3:399-400.
Procedures in Family Practice: What's Best for Your Patients and for You
Arch Fam Med 1993;2:1028-1030.