Location Decisions Of Family Physicians In Saskatchewan: What Really Matters?
This study examined the location decisions of family physicians in Saskatchewan by determining the factors that influence family physicians’ location decisions, and identifying the major themes from the factors. The research employed a rational choice model as a basis to design the methodology and explain how Saskatchewan family physicians make their practice location and re-location decisions. A mixed method approach, including an on-line questionnaire survey and interviews with key health agencies, was used to collect and analyse data. Data from the survey were summarised using summary statistics and cross tabulation. Responses from stakeholder interviews were transcribed and analyzed using interpretive description method. The mixed method approach elicited a rich and detailed description of family physicians’ location decisions. Participants of the study ranked family concern, work-life balance and community influence as the most influential factors of family physicians’ location decisions. The fourth factor of locations decisions according the study was compensation. Although compensation was mentioned as a factor, it was recorded as the least influential factor among the participants of this research. Other factors that were identified as having some influence on practice location choices were respect and appreciation, and scope of practice. To conclude, the study found that location decisions are not only about identifying the major influential factors of practice location choices, but also involve finding a good match between family physicians and potential practice locations and communities. That is, family physicians’ preferences must match the characteristics of the potential communities. Based on the conclusion, the study made two policy recommendations regarding the matching between family physicians and communities. The first policy recommendation is strategic matching between family physicians and communities for more efficient and effective recruitment and retention. The second recommendation is providing strategic incentives to ensure access to family physician services for the population in communities that do not meet the requirements of the strategic matching.
DegreeMaster of Public Policy (M.P.P.)
DepartmentJohnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
SupervisorMou, Haizhen; Olfert, Rose
Copyright DateAugust 2013
Location decision factors, Family Physicians