Does Postgraduate Training Change the Attitude of Residents towards Working in Primary Care?

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2016.0314-0319

german translation / full article

Martin Scherer, Anja Rakebrandt, Stine Ziegler, Benjamin Pietsch, Rebecca Keim

Keywords: postgraduate training career choice family practitioner internal medicine primary care

Introduction: Background is the imminent shortage of family practitioners in Germany. The objective is a multicentric longitudinal cohort study of medical graduates of class 2009 and investigation of their long-term career plans after four years of postgraduate training. Focus on their attitudes towards the disciplines of family and internal medicine and the work as a family practitioner.

Material and methods: Standardized annual postal surveys of all graduates of seven German medical faculties. Return rates were 48 % in the first year, and above 85 % in all the years after.

Results: Four years after the initial survey, the sample preferring to work in primary care after postgraduate training remained at 10 % of all residents. Over the four years the attractivity of primary care had increased among female physicians, but lowered among males. Primary care was also preferred by female and (somehow) also by males who were parents. Almost half of the women preferring to work in family practice wished to work as an employee in a health center, the other half in (solo or small group) private practice.

Discussion: The results illustrate the remaining lack of future family practitioners. This becomes apparent due to the trend that women, who rather prefer part-time work and are less likely to be self-employed, increasingly choose family medicine. It is crucial to take those trends and imponderables into account to ensure reliable primary care for the future.

(State: 15.07.2016)

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