Background: In order to ensure the delivery of primary care part of the vocational medical training must take place in the general practice setting. In Germany, this requires the authorization to provide general practitioner (GP) training. While in many countries specific qualification programmes for GP trainers are obligatory, this does not yet apply in Germany. The aim of this survey was to explore perspectives and experiences of GP trainers focusing on their needs in view of a possible qualification course.
Methods: A three-page questionnaire was developed and sent to all 1,780 GP trainers in the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
Results: Of the 1,780 GP trainers 656 responded (response rate: 37%), 18% of them being female trainers. About a quarter of the respondents had a vocational trainee, while 36% were looking for one at the time of the survey. The reason most frequently given for not having a vocational trainee was "no applicants" (n=323). Motivational reasons for involvement as a GP trainer were most commonly "interpersonal co-operation" (83%) and "enthusiasm for education" (69%). Only 2% of the respondents reported a bad experience with vocational trainees. Special needs were expressed regarding both legal and fiscal issues with vocational trainees in general practice and the development of a curriculum.
Conclusions: For the first time the perspectives and experiences of GP trainers have been explored in the present study. The results may provide a basis for the development of a qualification programme for GP trainers in Germany.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier GmbH.