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Which Topics and Framework Conditions of Family Medicine do Medical Students Rate as Attractive or Unattractive?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2018.0488-0493

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Antonia Bien, Ferdinand M. Gerlach, Corina Güthlin, Gisela Ravens-Taeuber, Bernd Bender, Miriam Rüsseler

Keywords: educational research family medicine medical specialist training medical students specialty choice

Background: In view of a shortage of family physicians, an analysis of the image of family medicine is vitally important.Methods: In a cross-sectional questionnaire survey in the years 2015 and 2016, students of three medical faculties in Hesse (Marburg, Gießen, Frankfurt) were questioned after their practical training in family medicine. The key aspect was their rating of the attractiveness of subject-specific aspects of family medicine. Evaluating the results statistically, descriptive statistics were used primarily. Moreover, the Mann-Whitney-U-test was used to analyze differences regarding demographic factors.Results: The response rate was 71 % (361 surveys). Combining a career with family life was important for 98 % of students interested in family medicine. Prestige-related factors seemed more attractive for male than female students. Specific frame conditions and the reputation of the specialty within the medical profession were considered unattractive. Female students rated participation in the medical emergency service and time commitment as clearly more unattractive. Aspects potentially increasing the attractiveness of vocational training in family medicine were related to structural topics such as the guarantee of a locum. Female study participants and students in a relationship regarded facilitating the start of an own surgery and daily life as practitioner as more important factors than their fellow students.Conclusions: Many aspects of family medicine were considered attractive, especially regarding work-life-balance and content-related aspects; these should be advertised more strongly. Regarding some unattractive factors, the students should be better informed, for example concerning the possibility of release from medical emergency service. The results suggest specific ways of making specialist training in family medicine more attractive, for example through good vocational adjustment or guaranteed childcare.


(State: 14.12.2018)

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