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The Career Aspiration in the Area of Family Medicine in the Light of University and Non-University Socialization of Students

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0514-0521

Eine qualitative Studie

german translation / full article

Markus Herrmann, Patricia Hänel

Keywords: family medicine medical students career aspiration motivation qualitative study

A Qualitative Study

Background: Germany has to face the unresolved problem of an impending striking shortage of family practitioners. Too few medical students are currently interested in a training as a medical specialist in the area of family medicine. There is disagreement about their motives. In this article, the factors that made fourth and fifth year medical students develop a career aspiration in the area of family medicine will be illustrated.

Methods: In a qualitative study 14 medical students of the Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg with a mentioned career aspiration in the area of family medicine were interviewed using guideline interviews. The guideline included the following aspects: The process of dealing with different career aspirations, the beginning of an interest for specialist training in family medicine and the influence of the university curriculum. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using the Global analysis and grounded theory methodology.

Results: The categories of the analysis process show the correlation of the career aspiration in the area of family medicine with the students’ rejection to be part of a perceived professional socialization in hospital. In addition, the different views of the students before beginning their studies are illuminated, that show their opinions about what it means to be a family practitioner. During the studies, an incompatibility of own values, norms, life and work planning and views of a good doctor -patient relationship is perceived with conditions of daily hospital routine. Positive and unique specialist experiences in the area of family medicine and thus the opportunity to maintain the own views and dispositions in this field contribute significantly to the formation of this career aspiration and to an alternative image of family medicine.

Conclusions: The results presented here provide an insight into the complex issues of the career aspiration in the area of family medicine. Since the students have very heterogeneous images about being a family practioner before beginning their studies, an early and continuous contact with the discipline is crucial. There the differences from the other disciplines must be pointed out. This could be ensured by solid electives within the university curriculum. Overcoming anxiety and prejudices of students in relation to the work of a family practitioner by such information events is also important.


(State: 05.01.2017)

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