2005, Number 6
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ABSTRACTObjective: to evaluate the development through time of the clinical aptitude in physicians of the first level of attention and the influence of cate-gories of first level physicians.
Material and methods: In a cross-section design the clinical aptitude was studied in three cate-gories of physicians of the first level of attention: general practitioners with functions of family medicine, family physicians, and family physicians working as head of a clinical department in Family Medicine Units with 10 or more consulting rooms. To evaluate the clinical aptitude, an instrument with 12 real clinical cases and 412 questions was used with nine indicators; this instrument was validated in a previous study.
Results: 499 physicians of the three categories were included, the scores range was between 52 and 245, with an average of 169 (41 %). When comparing the categories of physicians, significant differences were found, in favor of the physicians with a specialty. There were no differences among heads of clinical departments and family physicians. In the global analysis among indicators no differences were found. When correlating the clinical aptitude with the years of experience, without considering the category, a correlation of 0.02 was obtained.
Conclusions: experience seems to have no influence in the development of clinical aptitude; passive continuing education seems to have little influence in the physicians deepening into frequent health-problem solving in their practice.
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