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Policy and Health Issues in the News


Am Fam Physician. 2018 Aug 15;98(4):198.

Study Suggests Link Between Scope of Practice and Burnout

Family physicians who have a broader scope of practice early in their careers may be less likely to experience burnout, according to findings published in the May/June issue of Annals of Family Medicine. Researchers used data from the National Family Medicine Graduate Survey of physicians who graduated from family medicine residency programs in 2013; after limiting the sample to those who provided outpatient continuity care, the final sample included 1,617 physicians with a mean age of 35.9 years. Approximately 42% said they felt burned out from work at least once per week. When comparing the physicians who reported feeling burned out with those who did not, there was no association with the number of patient encounters per day, taking after-hours calls, or seeing patients on weekends or evenings. Family physicians practicing obstetrics and inpatient medicine had 36% and 30% lower odds of burnout, respectively, compared with peers not providing those services. The authors concluded that promoting a broad scope of practice in primary care, and family medicine in particular, may advance efforts to achieve the quadruple aim of better patient health, better care delivery, lower costs, and higher job satisfaction. For more information, go to https://www.aafp.org/news/focus-on-physician-well-being/20180627burnout.html.

Authors See Crucial Role for Primary Care in Opioid Epidemic

Three articles published in the July 5 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine suggest that family physicians are a commonsense weapon against opioid use disorder and the stigma of addiction. The first article established the urgency of the opioid overdose crisis, including that in 2016, there were 42,249 U.S. opioid-overdose deaths and that buprenorphine distribution has slowed rather than accelerated to meet demand. The authors recommended mobilizing the primary care physician workforce to offer office-based addiction treatment with bupreno



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Jul 15, 2019

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