[What factors aid in the recruitment of general practice as a career? An enquiry by interview of general practitioners]

Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2010 May;135(20):1011-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1253690. Epub 2010 May 11.
[Article in German]


Objective: In some parts of Germany there is already a lack of general practitioners (GPs). The reasons for this lack are complex. On the one hand there is an increasing demand for GPs as a result to demographic changes and an increase in the number of chronic diseases. On the other hand fewer medical students decide to become a general practitioner. The aim of this study was to explore, from the perspective of GPs, factors influencing the choice of general practice as a career. Also analysed is the extent to which those factors influence medical students in their carrier choice.

Methods: 16 GPs were interviewed. Qualitative content analysis according to Mayring has been assisted by the Atlas.ti software program.

Results: GPs thought that the occupational orientation of medical students would be strongly dependent on the attractiveness of their future profession. Factors affecting the day-to-day work of general practice and may deterring the carrier choice of students were: poor working and general conditions leading to an increasing dissatisfaction among GPs; decreasing prestige of GPs caused by changed personal and occupational values and attitudes within the society; as well as poor representation and image of general practice as a discipline within the medical curriculum.

Conclusion: Various approaches aimed at different target groups can be derived from these identified factors: the government providing general and occupational conditions that would relieve GPs of excessive bureaucracy; universities and medical associations meeting the challenge by improving undergraduate and postgraduate education in general practice; and GPs themselves giving a more self-confident presentation of general practice.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Career Choice*
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Germany
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Personnel Selection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Physicians / supply & distribution*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*