Which Factors Increase the Perception of Settling a Family Practice in Rural Areas?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2013.0010-0015

german translation / full article

Joachim Szecsenyi, Katja Götz, Stefanie Joos

Keywords: Primary Care Physician Shortage Rural Area Personnel Selection

Background: Internationally provenance from rural areas is known to be of high importance when facing the physicians’ shortage in rural areas. The aim of this study was to analyse factors which increase the perception of settling a practice in rural areas within family medicine vocational trainees in Germany.

Methods: An online survey (April to October 2010) with family medicine vocational trainees was performed. The item “I can imagine to settle a practice in rural areas” was dichotomised. Statistic testing was performed by t-test and Chi-square test. Linear correlations were identified by the Pearson correlation coefficient. A binary logistic regression was performed with significant correlations with the depending variable “going for an establishment in rural areas”.

Results: From the 528 participants 31.4 % (n = 166) answered to “I can imagine to settle in rural areas” with “totally agree”. About 48 % of those were male, approximately two third had a rural origin. The odds ratios for the perception to go for an establishment in rural areas are significantly higher with the factors “family friendly surrounding” (OR 2.53; p 0.01) and “origin from rural area” (OR 2.22; p 0.01). Furthermore, significant factors were “school grades”, “importance of a job for the partner” and “participant of a vocational rotation network”.

Conclusions: Within an evaluated programme a specific percentage of future students should get admitted by alternative factors such as provenance from a rural area. Communities in rural areas should emphasize their family friendly surrounding.

(State: 11.01.2013)

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