Rural GPs’ attitudes toward participating in emergency medicine: a qualitative study
Objective: Health authorities want to increase general practitioner (GP) participation in emergency
medicine, but the role of the GP in this context controversial. We explored GPs’ attitudes
toward emergency medicine and call outs.
Design: Thematic analysis of focus group interviews.
Setting: Four rural casualty clinics in Norway.
Participants: GPs with experience ranging from one to 32 years.
Results: The GPs felt that their role had changed from being the only provider of emergency
care to being one of many. In particular, the emergency medical technician teams (EMT) have
evolved and often manage well without a physician. Consequently, the GPs get less experience
and feel more uncertain when encountering emergencies. Nevertheless, the GPs want to participate
in call outs. They believed that their presence contributes to better patient care, and the
community appreciates it. Taking part in call outs is seen as being vital to maintaining skills. The
GPs had difficulties explaining how to decide whether to participate in call outs. Decisions were
perceived as difficult due to insufficient information. The GPs assessed factors, such as distance
from the patient and crowding at the casualty clinic, differently when discussing participation in
Conclusion: Although their role may have changed, GPs argue that they still play a part in emergency medicine. The GPs claim that by participating in call outs, they maintain their skills and improve patient care, but further research is needed to help policy makers and clinicians decide when the presence of a GP really counts. Norwegian health authorities want to increase participation by general practitioners (GPs) in emergency medicine, but the role of the GP in this context is controversial.
This article is also available via DOI:10.1080/02813432.2016.1249047
Is part ofHjortdahl, M. (2018). Norwegian General Practitioners Contribution and Participation in Emergency Medicine. Doctoral thesis. http://hdl.handle.net/10037/14109
PublisherTaylor & Francis Open
CitationHjortdahl, M, Halvorsen, P.A. & Risør, M.B. (2016). Rural GPs’ attitudes toward participating in emergency medicine: a qualitative study. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 34(4), 377-384. https://doi.org/10.1080/02813432.2016.1249047
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