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The Image of Family Medicine from Medical Students’ Perspective

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0321-0325

german translation / full article

Mareike Kaucher Mareike Kaucher, Nico Richter Nico Richter, Johannes Kopp Johannes Kopp, Rüdiger Jacob, Bernhard Gibis Bernhard Gibis, Branko Trebar Branko Trebar

Keywords: family medicine family practitioner study of medicine survey reputation

Background: During the last years family medicine has struggled with the core problem of recruiting enough young talents: Fewer and fewer medical graduates decide on a continuing education as family practitioner. Among other things, the reason could be found in the rather negative image of family medicine, due to political framework and poor working conditions.

Methods: Specific analysis of the nationwide online survey “Berufsmonitoring Medizinstudenten 2014” (N = 11.462) concerning the students´ associations about family medicine.

Results: Although family practitioners are actually held in high esteem in the population, only about one in six of the interviewed medical students think that family medicine is the specialization with the highest reputation. For fellow students and practicing doctors family medicine also has a rather negative reputation, in the view of the interviewed students. However, concerning concrete associations about the occupation as a family practitioner positive aspects of the job receive a significantly stronger agreement than negative aspects of the job.

Conclusions: Family medicine has a massive problem concerning its reputation in the view of (too) many medical students and is still viewed as little demanding, monotonous and badly paid by many aspiring doctors. Professional and proper information about the actual occupation in family medicine and their spectrum of treatment and tasks should already be given continuously during the study of medicine, as most future doctors forming preferences and solidify them at this stage.


(State: 15.07.2016)

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