How Satisfied are Family Physicians in the Countryside?

german translation / full article

Peter Schulte, Sophia Magdalena Ritter, Nils Schneider, Stephanie Stiel

Keywords: Germany family medicine health care research satisfaction

BackgroundThe shortage of family physicians (FPs) is painfully noticeable in many regions, especially in rural areas, and will probably increase considerably in the future. More and more communities and rural districts are starting projects to counteract this shortage with various instruments. In this context, the Hameln-Pyrmont health region has commissioned a student project to survey FPs in two rural districts about their job satisfaction and prospects for later retirement.MethodsBased on relevant literature and personal experience, an interview guideline was developed, as well as definitions for „rural area“ and „rural FP“. Following these definitions, the total group of FPs in the districts of Hameln-Pyrmont and Schaumburg was determined. 46 of them were classified rural FPs and were invited for study participation. A personal interview was conducted with 20 FPs in their local practices. Quantitative answers were displayed on verbal or numerical ranting scales and analyzed descriptively. ResultsAll participating FPs stated a high (90 %) or very high (10 %) level of job and location satisfaction. All surveyed FPs would again choose the profession of a doctor. The compatibility of family and career is taken for granted by 70 % of the respondents. The handover of their rural practice to a successor is often classified as (very) difficult (75 %) to implement.ConclusionsThe predominantly positive attitude of the rural FPs surveyed towards their profession and the social conditions in the two rural districts should be conveyed in the student training, for which e.g. the format of the „Landpartien“ offers a good platform. On a political level, the Hameln-Pyrmont health region draws the conclusion from this study that a feasibility study for a municipally operated health centre should be carried out.Keywordshealth care research; family medicine; Germany; satisfaction

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