Background: In the context of physician shortages, critical factors influencing career choice need to be better understood. The aim of this study was to explore experiences students have had with family medicine in order to develop additional strategies for recruiting family medicine trainees. Methods: Students from the five medical faculties in the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg were invited to participate in an online-survey via email. A purpose-built questionnaire was used. In addition to descriptive statistics, analysis included linear partial correlations controlled for age, gender, and semester, which were calculated between the variable "I believe family medicine is an attractive job" and the 31 variables of the survey. Linear regression was used to analyze the influence of experiences with family medicine and statements about family medicine to the perception of family medicine as an attractive specialty. Results: 1299 students participated in the survey. About half of the participants (49.7 %) considered working as a primary care physician to be attractive or partly attractive. 49.6 % of students reported positive experiences with family medicine as a patient and 33.1 % as a family member. 24.3 % reported positive experiences during the compulsory 1-2 weeks general practice internship and 18.1 % during a four weeks elective placement. For 302 participants (23.3 %), family medicine is presented positively in the media. 178 (13.7 %) consider family medicine to have high importance in both undergraduate and postgraduate education. Positive influences on judging attractiveness of family medicine were: own experience with family medicine as a clinical elective (rpart= + 0.450), own experience with family medicine as a patient (rpart= + 0.218), perception that family medicine offers a diversified working day (rpart= + 0.259), and perception that family medicine offers a good salary (rpart= + 0.242). Conclusion: To enable students during undergraduate studies to have practical experience with family medicine seems to be an important influence on judging family medicine attractive.
|Translated title of the contribution
|What do medical students think of family medicine?: Results of an online cross-sectional study in the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg
|Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift
|Number of pages
|Published - 07.08.2013