The use of new technologies by rural family physicians

D. A. Nelsen, D. A. Hartley, J. Christianson, I. Moscovice, Mei Chen Mei Mei Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background. Although office procedures that involve special training and office equipment are often performed by a specialist in an urban setting, they are increasingly being performed by family physicians in rural settings. This study documents the prevalence of four such procedures in rural family practice: flexible sigmoidoscopy, cardiac stress testing, colposcopy, and nasopharyngoscopy. Individual and community characteristics of physicians who perform each of the procedures are compared with those of physicians who do not. Methods. Data were collected on office technology and the characteristics of physicians, their practices, and their communities through telephone interviews with 403 randomly selected, rural family physicians and general practitioners in eight states. Descriptive and univariate analyses were used. Results. Flexible fiberoptic sigmoidoscopy was performed by 57% of the physicians in our sample. The presence of another physician in the group or in the community who performed this procedure increased the probability of a rural physician performing it. Being male, recent licensure, board certification, and patient volume were also positively associated with the performance of this procedure. Conclusions. This study found evidence of a collegial effect among rural physicians and of a significant number of rural physicians seeking postresidency training in new procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-485
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994


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