Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery; Scholarship of Community Application


The goal of this project was to examine the patients that a general practitioner (GP) sees in a given time period and to chart their characteristics in order to better understand the mosaic of patients seen in such a practice. Comprising this profile are answers to the following questions: Are females or males seen more frequently in the GP’s office? What is the distribution of ages seen most frequently? What are the most common presenting symptoms? Data was collected via survey from the office of Dr. Rodney Alford in Kankakee, IL between May 10, 2010 and July 10th, 2010. When weighing decisions regarding specialty training, medical students often have little personal knowledge of medical practice environments upon which to make sound decisions. The goal of this study is to provide additional data for this decision making process. Such data might also guide topic selection for certification exams at the end of training for new practitioners as well as postgraduate continuing medical education courses for established physicians. This study was limited by small sample size, low survey participation and failure of participants to answer questions in context. However, the following observations seem instructive and are generally similar to available national data on age, ethnicity and presenting symptoms. These observations are that the most common reason for visit is check-ups, the most commonly seen age group is 61 years old and older, and females are seen more frequently than males.


Honors Capstone Project completed in 2011 for Olivet Nazarene University.