The role of clinic visits: perceptions of doctors

  • ID Couper Department of Family Medicine University of the Witwatersrand
  • JFM Hugo Department of Family Medicine University of Pretoria
  • WV Van Deventer Madibeng Centre for Research In collaboration with the Madibeng Centre for Research
Keywords: clinic visits, primary care, perceptions, doctors, team work, clinic nurses


The aim of this study was to ascertain what doctors perceive to be their role in visiting district clinics.

Individual and focus group interviews were conducted with hospital doctors of different seniority and with doctors who work solely in the clinics.

A range of important themes emerged from the interviews, relating to the intended function of the clinics and their resources, the operationalisation of doctors' visits, the varied roles that doctors play in clinics and the importance of teamwork and support. Doctors working full time in the clinics shared a more positive view.

There is a need for clear consensus policy and guidelines on the role of the doctor in primary care clinics, the involvement of the doctor in the management of clinics, structuring doctors' visits to ensure continuity, facilitating transport for doctors, and ensuring that dedicated doctors are available to visit clinics, to support community service doctors visiting the clinics and to train clinic nurses.

Keywords: clinic visits; primary care; perceptions; doctors; team work; clinic nurses

For full text, click here:SA Fam Pract 2005;47(8):60-65"

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-6204
print ISSN: 2078-6190