Would you like to be a general practitioner? Baseline findings of a longitudinal survey among Danish medical trainees

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Abstract

Background: Recruiting and securing primary care physician workforce has been the center of international attention for decades. In Denmark, the number of general practitioners has decreased by 8.5% since 2013. However, a rising population age and increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and multimorbidity place an even greater future need for general practitioners in Denmark. The choice of general practice as specialty has been associated with a range of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, however, few studies have examined the recruitment potential that lies within medical trainees' who are undecided about general practice specialization. The aim of this study was, therefore, to explore how medical trainees who are undecided about general practice specialization (GP-positive/undecided) differ from medical trainees who are either committed (GP-committed) or not committed to a general practice career (GP-non-committed) regarding factors related to future work life.

Methods: The present study concerns baseline findings from a longitudinal survey study. An online questionnaire was e-mailed to a national cohort of medical trainees during their transition from under- to postgraduate education. The associations between orientations towards general practice specialization and work-related factors and potential influencing factors, respectively, were analyzed using uni- and multivariable modified Poisson regression models.

Results: Of 1,188 invited participants, 461 filled out key study variables concerning specialty preferences and rejections, corresponding to a response rate of 38.8%. We found significant positive associations between GP-positive/undecided orientation and valuing a good work/life balance and the opportunity to organize own working hours when compared to GP-non-committed respondents. Compared to the GP-committed orientations, the GP-positive/undecided orientation was associated with a positive attitude towards technology, working shift hours, and an openness towards several career paths. Across all orientations, undergraduate exposure to the specialties was found to be highly influential on the specialty preferences.

Conclusion: GP-positive/undecided medical trainees value autonomy over their working hours more than the GP-non-committed, but less than the GP-committed. However, the GP-positive/undecided respondents present more openness to different career opportunities and the use of technology in daily work. We suggest using this knowledge in the planning of recruitment strategies aiming to increase interest in general practice specialization.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer111
TidsskriftBMC Medical Education
Vol/bind24
Antal sider13
ISSN1472-6920
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 5 feb. 2024

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© 2024. The Author(s).

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