The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Since minor surgical and musculoskeletal problems are commonly seen in primary care, primary care physicians are expected to possess the skills required to perform minor surgical procedures (MSP) and musculoskeletal injections (MSI).
To evaluate the performance of MSP and MSI by primary care physicians in the Southern District (Negev) of Clalit Health Services (CHS) health maintenance organization (HMO) in Israel.
A structured self-report questionnaire was sent to all 277 primary care physicians, other than pediatricians, working in the Southern District (Negev) of CHS HMO.
One hundred fifty one of the 277 questionnaires (54%) were completed and returned. Sixty five percent of the primary care physicians perform any MSP and 46% perform any MSI. The main barriers reported for performing MSP and MSI were lack of time (74% and 66%, respectively) and training (41% and 60%, respectively). Forty percent of the physicians cited remuneration as a potential motivating factor. A logistic regression model showed that male physicians and physicians who work full or part-time in rural areas, are more likely to perform MSP (Odds ratio 2.12 and 2.24, respectively). Male physicians, especially board-certified family physicians, are more likely to perform MSI (Odds ratio 2.86 and 7.0 respectively).
MSP and MSI are practiced by only some primary care physicians. HMOs and individuals responsible for designing training curricula in family medicine and primary care can encourage primary care physicians to perform MSP and MSI by providing courses, specific compensation, and dedicated time. This can strengthen the bond between primary care physicians and patients, reduce waiting time for patients, and save money for HMO’s.