The Next Generation of Family Physicians: What Do They Think?
Ergebnisse einer Umfrage innerhalb der DEGAM-Nachwuchsakademiegerman translation / full article
Results of a Survey Among the Members of the College’s Young Academics (DEGAM-Nachwuchsakademie)
Background: In times of shortage of family practitioners (FPs), it is important to assess medical students’ point of views about the job profile of FPs in Germany. The members of the the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians’ Young Academics (DEGAM-Nachwuchsakademie; NWA) were asked about their perceptions of their undergraduate education and professional future, as well as their arguments for and against a career choice in primary care.
Methods: Voluntary and anonymous questionnaire survey among the members of the NWA conducted during their annual meeting in Erfurt in June 2014.
Results: Thirty members of the NWA took part in the survey (76 % female, mean age 25 years). One’s own FP was most often (32 %) mentioned as a source of inspiration to choose a career in primary care. Even though there is an institute of family medicine at the home universities of 93 % of the respondents, just half (47 %) of them think that the subject is sufficiently represented within their medical school. 21 of 30 respondents support the implementation of a compulsory three-month period in family practice in the final clinical year. The reconcilability of family and working life, as well as regular working hours, are of significant importance to the respondents. 17 NWA members grew up in a village or a small town and 18 members said that they would like to work in such a setting in the future. Most of the respondents (45 %) want to work as a FP in a solo practice.
Conclusion: The present results can help to develop solutions for the recruitment problem of FPs. Compared to all medical students in Germany this sample contains more women and more people who grew up in the country. FPs themselves are important sources of inspiration for the future career choice of their young patients. It seems that the NWA encourages their members’ choice for a career in primary care.