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Working behaviour of competent general practitioners: personal styles and deliberate strategies.

Journal article
Authors Björn Landström
Carl Edvard Rudebeck
Bengt Mattsson
Published in Scandinavian journal of primary health care
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 122-8
ISSN 0281-3432
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 122-8
Language en
Keywords clinical strategies; consultation; general practitioner; participant observation; patient-centeredness; personal style; work performance
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVE: To study how competent GPs perform their work within the consultation and in relation to the team and practice organization. DESIGN: Ethnographic study with thick description. A participant observation of the GP was followed by a personal interview. A substantial description was elaborated that was analysed qualitatively. SETTING: Primary care surgeries in Sweden. SUBJECTS: A number of competent GPs. RESULTS: Two main categories emerged, deliberated strategy and personal style. These categories set up the individual pattern of working behaviour for each GP. A behaviour that is a deliberate strategy for one GP for the other belongs to his or her personal style. Common denominators in the overall working behaviour were attention to the patient as a person, practising patient-centred medicine, saving the consultations from disturbances, rejecting taking over responsibilities from the patients, and safeguarding own autonomy. CONCLUSION: The transition of deliberate, favourable strategies into one's personal style is an important aspect of professional development. A well-developed personal style is necessary to obtain the spontaneous interchange between attentive listening and detachment characteristic of patient-centeredness.

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