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Attitudes of Hessian Physicians in Vocational Training for Family Medicine in Rural Areas

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2019.0510-0514

german translation / full article

Jana Groth, Konrad Hierasimowicz, Stefan Bösner, Erika Baum

Keywords: family friendliness infrastructure physicians in vocational training practice in rural areas shortage of family physicians

BackgroundNationwide, there are major problems (especially in rural areas) to find successors for retiring family physicians (FPs). To counteract this deficit, the professional and private interests of physicians in postgraduate training have to be investigated and understood. Only in this way can primary care be guaranteed over a wide area in the future. MethodsBy carrying out focus groups from February to May 2018, a total of 29 physicians in postgraduate training were asked about their attitudes towards a rural occupation as FPs. In June 2018, the results were supplemented by an online questionnaire (n = 68). The results of the focus groups were evaluated by qualitative content analysis according to Margrit Schreier. For the evaluation of the online questionnaire, a correlation analysis using SPSS was performed. ResultsThe most important predictor of interest in rural occupation was the rural origin of the study participants. Contact with rural doctors during medical education also increased this interest. Furthermore, the results show that financial incentives, family ties to the region, and closer relationships to patients are key factors in deciding to work in the countryside. Equally important are the specific working and living conditions on site: the expected workload, the existing infrastructure for partners, leisure time and family life, and the structure of local medical networks. ConclusionsIn order to secure primary care in rural areas in the future, municipalities as well as local doctors must adapt to the changing needs of young physicians. This concerns not only the creation of group practices, part-time occupation and employment possibilities but also the possibility of a gradual takeover. In addition, substantial investment in the technical and social infrastructure of rural areas is necessary, as well as ensuring attractive economic conditions for family physicians in these regions.Keywordsshortage of family physicians; physicians in vocational training; practice in rural areas; infrastructure; family friendliness


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(State: 16.12.2019)

Latest Issue 1/2020

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