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Compulsory Final Year Period in Family Medicine – Results of a Survey among Family Practitioners

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2014.0469-0474

german translation / full article

Birgitt Wiese, Nils Schneider, Christina Termühlen

Keywords: Compulsory Final Year Period in Family Medicine Teaching Practices Educational Capacities

Background: The implementation of a compulsory period within the final year in family medicine as a step to strengthen the discipline is currently being discussed. Little is known about the family practitioners’ (FP) view of this theme. Thus, this paper aims to assess FPs’ views and training capacities in family practices.

Method: In April 2014, we conducted a standardised survey with a 50%-random sample of family practitioners in Lower Saxony (n = 2087) and all teaching practices (n = 241) of the Institute for General Practice, Hannover Medical School. The questionnaire focused on former experiences with medical students in the practice, opinion towards and potential participation in a compulsory final year period. Statistical evaluation took place by descriptive and multivariate analyses with SPSS 21.

Results: The overall response rate was 27 %. Experiences with medical students in the practice were reported in 69 %. In all, the majority of participants (67 %) assumed that a compulsory final year period is a suitable measure to recruit junior FPs. Senior FPs and those who value their profession as being attractive consider a compulsory period significantly more often a suitable measure; FPs in large cities, however, consider this less frequently as their colleagues in smaller places. 75 % of participating FPs would take part in the final year education in their practices. In addition to the population of the practice site, considerations of the professions’ attractivity and former experiences with medical students show significant influence.

Conclusions: The majority of participating Lower Saxony FPs supports a compulsory final year period in family medicine and would be willing to participate in the final year education. However, experiences from clerkships and practical trainings can not be automatically transferred. In case of implementation of a compulsory final year period in family practice, substantial challenges both contentually and logistically have to be calculated on. A further evaluation of capacities and resources seems to be a crucial prerequisite.


(State: 17.11.2014)

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