Prevalence of community-oriented primary care knowledge, training, and practice

Fam Med. 2002 Mar;34(3):183-9.


Background and objectives: Recent recommendations requiring resident training in community-oriented primary care (COPC) indicate a continued interest among family medicine educators. This study examines COPC-related aspects of training and practice and whether or not respondents report COPC knowledge. The study also compares residency program and physician responses.

Methods: A total of 400 randomly selected practicing physicians and 470 residency directors were asked about COPC curricular and practice experiences. Physicians were asked if they practice COPC. Programs were asked if they taught COPC. Both were asked if they were knowledgeable about COPC.

Results: Response rates for practicing physicians and programs were 58.4% and 71.8%, respectively; 38.8% of programs teach COPC, and 6.7% of physicians reported that they practice COPC. Sixty-seven percent of programs and 19% of physicians reported COPC knowledge. Programs with knowledge of COPC conducted more COPC-related activities than those without such knowledge. This relationship was not seen among practicing physicians.

Conclusions: Aspects of COPC exist in training and in practice environments. Knowledge about COPC is associated with differences in programs' COPC activities but not in the COPC activities of practicing physicians. Programs and physicians differ in COPC implementation in training and practice.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Community Medicine / education*
  • Curriculum
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States