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UNC study: Most N.C. family practitioners engage in unrecognized community service

overall response rate was 54 percent.

"Most respondents reported strong interests in community service before medical school and residency, yet few reported any relevant training during medical education," Goldstein said. "More than 85 percent of faculty and community practice family physicians reported participating in volunteer service in the previous year."

On average, family medicine faculty members gave almost 71 hours in volunteer time during the past 12 months, and community practitioners gave close to 46 hours. Over their lifetimes, the former reported being involved in almost 21 different volunteer activities while those working outside academia reported almost 17 different ones.

Fewer than half of either group said that their practice or program publicly supported their volunteer work, the physician said. The most frequently reported community services were giving talks on health-related and other topics, working with community groups on local issues including health-related ones and participating in local health events.

"If these data represent the range and hours of volunteer community service done by individual family physicians throughout the country, then the discipline is making a substantial contribution to society and their communities over and beyond the clinical care provided," Goldstein wrote.


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Contact: David Williamson
919-962-8596
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
31-Mar-2005


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