Extending the boundaries of family medicine to perform manual procedures

Haim Bitterman*, Shlomo Vinker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recent survey by Menahem and colleagues revealed that 65% of the surveyed primary care physicians reported that they performed any minor surgical procedures, and 46% reported performance of any musculoskeletal injections. Lack of allocated time and lack of training were the main reported barriers confronting higher performance rates. Healthcare systems are shifting large chunks of traditional hospital-centered activities to competent and comprehensive community-based structures. These changes are very well aligned with key trends in modern consumerism that prefer a close to home availability of medical services. Minor surgical procedures and musculoskeletal injections are good examples of medical activities that had been performed mainly by hospital and community based specialists. The syllabus of specialty training in Family Medicine in Israel includes these skills and trainees should acquire them during the residency program. We estimate that hundreds of family physicians obtain different levels of such training. Yet, only few family physicians have allocated protected time for performance of the procedures. For the skilled physician, performance of such relatively simple procedures extends his professional boundaries and the comprehensiveness of his service. For the healthcare system the "extra effort" and investment needed for performance of minor surgical procedures in primary care clinics is small. The results of the present study reflect on wider issues of care delivery. This study highlights the need for formalized and documented training of family physicians together with allocation of managerial and technical requirements needed to encourage these and similar medically and economically justified endeavors that seem to be perfectly aligned with the wishes of healthcare consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalIsrael Journal of Health Policy Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Extending the boundaries of family medicine to perform manual procedures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this