Closed and restricted practices.
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the proportion of recently certificated Ontario family physicians who have closed their practices to new patients or restricted their services. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey mailed between September 1993 and January 1994. SETTING: Ontario family practices. PARTICIPANTS: All family medicine residency-trained certificants of the College of Family Physicians of Canada from 1989 to 1991 currently practising in Ontario. Response rate was 70% (395 of 564 eligible physicians). Otherwise eligible physicians practising as locums, emergency room physicians, or military physicians were excluded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-report of practices being closed to new patients and of various restrictions placed on practices. RESULTS: Nearly one third of respondents had closed their practices to new patients. Although the decision to close a practice correlated with length of time in practice, physicians in metropolitan Toronto were significantly less likely to report closed practices than physicians practising in other regions of Ontario. Restrictions reported related to patients and problems, geographic area, and type of setting(s) serviced. About 45% of respondents did not provide one or more of a defined set of five services. CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest that family physicians restrict their practices in various ways within the first 5 years after certification.
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