Purpose: To describe the current practice setting, scope of practice, and adequacy of residency training of a large cohort of family practice (FP) residency graduates.
Method: In February 2000, questionnaires containing 120 demographic, practice, and training items were mailed to 1,498 graduates (1973-1999) of the University of Washington Family Practice Residency Network.
Results: A total of 983 (71%) graduates completed the survey. Of the 870 who were currently practicing family physicians, 38% were women, 73% worked full-time, 45% practiced in FP groups, and 97% were board certified in FP. A total of 37% practiced in communities of fewer than 25,000 residents, and 29% practiced in federally designated health provider shortage sites. Most cared for their patients in the hospital: 79% for adult medical patients, 54% for adult ICU/CCU patients, and 71% for children. Most provided maternity care: 63% delivered babies and 58% assisted at cesarean sections (12% as primary surgeon). Even in cities of over 100,000, 58% delivered babies. Large numbers of responders performed colposcopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, vasectomy, and minor surgery. A higher proportion of the most recent graduates provided maternity care and performed colposcopy. Most graduates reported that residency training prepared them well.
Conclusions: FP residency training is modeled to prepare primary care physicians to meet the needs of all patients in all communities. These data document the success of this model in producing and sustaining family physicians to fulfill these roles in practice.