Provision of Palliative Care Services by Family Physicians Is Common

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Provision of palliative care services by primary care physicians is increasingly important with an aging population, but it is unknown whether US primary care physicians see themselves as palliative practitioners.


This study used cross-sectional analysis of data from the 2013 American Board of Family Medicine Maintenance of Certification Demographic Survey.


Of 10,894 family physicians, 33.1% (n = 3609) report providing palliative care. Those providing palliative care are significantly more likely to provide non-clinic-based services such as care in nursing homes, home visits, and hospice. Controlling for other characteristics, physicians reporting palliative care provision are significantly (P< .05) more likely to be older, white, male, rural, and practicing in a patient-centered medical home.


One third of family physicians recertifying in 2013 reported providing palliative care, with physician and practice characteristics driving reporting palliative care provision.

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