Infectious Diseases
Internal Medicine
Journal Scan

Do internal medicine physicians care enough antibiotic resistance?

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Researchers conducted focus groups in Philadelphia, Birmingham, Chicago, and Los Angeles comprised of family medicine/internal medicine physicians and pediatricians.

Although most primary care physicians said antibiotic resistance was an important public health issue, they thought there were other more pressing problems, such as obesity.

Participants thought resistance was more of a hospital issue, and that inappropriate prescribing was more of an issue in non-primary care settings, like urgent care clinics.

In addition, primary care physicians question the validity of antibiotic prescribing metrics, calling into question the ability to capture prescribing quality, physicians gaming the system to improve their measures, and distrusting quality measures overall.

The authors concluded that “stakeholders will need to consider physician attitudes and beliefs about antibiotic stewardship when implementing interventions aimed at improving prescribing.


Zetts RM, Stoesz A, Garcia AM, et al. Primary care physicians’ attitudes and perceptions towards antibiotic resistance and outpatient antibiotic stewardship in the USA: a qualitative study. BMJ Open. 2020;10:e034983. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-034983