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Table 1 Personal and practice characteristics of the participating German primary care physicians, n = 1719

From: Diagnostic and treatment barriers to persistent somatic symptoms in primary care – representative survey with physicians

  Level Responder Sample Official statistics
n   1 719 12 004 54 741 a
Gender (%) male 755 (44.6) 6 063 (50.5) 30 201 (55.2) a
female 936 (55.4) 5 940 (49.5) 24 540 (44.8) a
Medical specialty (%)d General medicine 1 134 (67.4) 6 960 (58.0) 34 751 (62.0) a
Internal medicine 429 (25.5) 3 543 (29.5) 15 417 (27.5) a
Other or none 77 (4.6) 1 501 (12.5) 4 852 (8.7) a
General and internal medicine 42 (2.5) - 1 047 (1.9) b
Years of experience as PCP (%) 0–10 years 454 (27.4) -  
11–20 years 540 (32.5) -  
21–30 years 454 (27.4) -  
 > 30 years 211 (12.7) -  
Practice setting (%) Own practice 836 (50.1) - 26 823 (49.0) c
Collaborative practice 834 (49.9) - 27 918 (51.0) c
Number of patients (%) less than 500 53 (3.2) - 1 642 (3.0) c
500–1000 654 (39.7) - 11 879 (21.7) c
more than 1000 942 (57.2) - 37 224 (68.0) c
    -  
Practice region (%) Rural (max. 4 999 Inh.) 321 (19.6) -  
Small town (5 000 to 19 999 Inh.) 369 (22.5) -  
Medium town (20 000 to 99 999 Inh.) 351 (21.4) -  
Large town (above 100 000 Inh.) 599 (36.5) -  
Additional qualification (%) Psychotherapy 98 (5.7) -  
Basic psychosomatic care 1 163 (67.7) -  
other or none 458 (26.6) -  
Weekly proportion of patients with somatoform disorders (%) 0–10% 711 (51.4) -  
11–20% 342 (24.7) -  
21–30% 208 (15.0) -  
 > 30% 123 (8.9) -  
  1. aNational Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians [21]
  2. bGerman Medical Association [22],
  3. cINFAS & National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians [23]
  4. dThe sum of figures in medical specialty of official statistics (56 067) is slightly higher than the count for all PCPs (54 741), because the source gave counts for physicians according to their title “general medicine” and “others or none”. However, some of those are not working as PCPs, but as specialists