Much unsolicited mail received by general practice registrars

January 01, 0001

Much unsolicited mail received by general practice registrars

The aim of this study by researchers from Australia was to determine the amount, types, and proportion that is read of unsolicited mail received by a general practice registrar. It consisted of a mixed-methods, prospective, descriptive study of unsolicited mail sent directly to a general practice registrar in a private general practice located in rural north Queensland, collected between 1 March and 30 September 2010.

196 items of unsolicited mail, weighing 19.85 kg, were received over a period of 7 months. The category with the largest number of mail items was pharmaceutical company correspondence (36%), closely followed by medical tabloids and free journals (34%). Medical tabloids and free journals made up the largest proportion of unsolicited mail by weight (15.49 kg, 78%). Of all 196 items, only 10 (5%) had more than half of their content read.

The researchers concluded: "Although small in size, this study suggests that a reduction in unsolicited mail to general practitioners in Australia would have benefits for GPs in terms of time management, environmental benefits, and reduction in frustration levels."

This did not even include emails, yet it is overwhelming enough!

For the full abstract, click here.

MJA 193(11/12):728-729, 13 December 2010
© The Medical Journal of Australia 2010
Piling high: a general practice registrar’s unsolicited mail. Amanda M Torkington, Robyn G Preston and David T Brandts-Giesen. Correspondence to Amanda Torkington: [email protected]

Category: HSR. Health Services Research. Keywords: general practice, registrars, unsolicited, mail, prospective descriptive study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 21 Janaury 2011

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