The Attitudes of Family Physicians Toward the Peer Review Process
Ronald R. Roth, MD;
Paul J. Porter, EdD;
Gerald R. Bisbey, PhD;
Charles R. May, PhD, EdD
Arch Fam Med. 1993;2(12):1271-1275.
We conducted a study to determine family physicians' attitudes and perceptions toward current peer review practices, and to discover if family physicians, general surgeons, and hospital-based physicians view the process differently. A survey instrument measured perceptions of physicians on the following four areas of the peer review process: (1) how peer reviews are administered, (2) the educational value of peer reviews, (3) the performance of peer review committees, and (4) the effect of the peer review process on physician morale. The survey was mailed to all 3528 practicing physicians who were members of a state medical society. A subgroup of 1695 family physicians, general surgeons, and hospital-based physicians was used for this study, of whom 774 (46%) responded to the questionnaire. Over one half of the family physicians responded negatively toward the peer review process on all items of the survey, with over 70% dissatisfied on five of the 17 items. Family physicians, general surgeons, and hospital-based physicians viewed the peer review process differently in the four areas measured. We found statistically significant differences of opinions regarding present peer review practices among the specialties cited. However, the overall dissatisfaction of the specialty groups studied may suggest that the concern resides more with the profession at large than with any one medical specialty group.
From the Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls.