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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 237-243

Being a family physician: Experience of general physicians working in rural and urban healthcare centers in Iran

1 Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Centre, Nursing and Midwifery Faculty, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Setareh Abdoli
Faculty of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.143063

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Background: The family physician program in the form of a referral system is one the best administrative strategies, especially in rural and low populated regions (under 20,000 people) of Iran in 2006. Objectives: This study was conducted with the aim of general physician's experience as practicing in family physician program. Materials and Methods: This study was a qualitative study using conventional content analysis. The data were gathered by in-depth interview with 12 family physicians working in rural and low populated urban health and treatment center in a province located in west of Iran in 2011. Findings: The findings highlighted that five main themes and 12 subthemes reflected the general physician's experience as family physicians. They were: The physician's lost identity (physician: Belittled and physician: Shattered in the system), the physician left in the system (physician: Extorted and lacking supportive environment), passive and thoughtless practice (learning, a faded element, and scientific practice on the verge of demise), the unstable foundation of the program (insufficient groundwork, lack of comprehensiveness, and the change in the program's nature during practice), and sparks of success (satisfaction with need-based practice, proper distribution of general physicians within the country, and effective management of chronic diseases). Interpretation and Conclusions: The findings indicated serious challenges in family physician program. Ignoring these problems may lead to medical and financial resources wasting. So a permanent progressing program needs solving defects of the valuable program in Iran to improve healthcare in rural and low-populated regions.

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