What influences young doctors in their decision-making about general practice as a possible career? A qualitative study.

Harris, Michael; Wainwright, David; Wainwright, Elaine (2020). What influences young doctors in their decision-making about general practice as a possible career? A qualitative study. Education for Primary Care, 31(1), pp. 15-23. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/14739879.2019.1697967

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Background: Recruitment to General Practitioner (GP) training programmes in the United Kingdom is poor. Colleagues' negative comments about general practice could contribute to this.Aim: To investigate what influences Foundation Year 2 (FY2) doctors in their decisions to choose general practice as a career, and how colleagues' comments about GPs might affect those decisions.Design and Setting: A qualitative study in Southwest England.Method: Thematic analysis of interviews with FY2 doctors.Results: Twenty-four doctors participated. They thought that GPs worked hard and had very varied clinical work. The effect on their career choice depended on their personalities. GP placement experiences significantly influenced their career intentions. The loneliness of working in general practice was a key concern. FY2 doctors thought colleagues' criticisms of GPs did not reflect reality and were outdated. 'Banter' had little effect on career choices.Conclusion: Person-specialty fit and FY2 doctors' experiences of GP work have a significant effect on career choices. Loneliness in their GP work placements is a particular problem that should be addressed. While colleagues' derogatory comments about GPs may affect medical students' views on their career choices, they appear to have little effect on the career decision-making of qualified doctors.Abbreviations: CMT: Core Medical Training; FY2: Foundation Year 2; GP: general practitioner; NHS: National Health Service; UK: United Kingdom.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of General Practice and Primary Care (BIHAM)

UniBE Contributor:

Harris, Michael Frank


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Taylor & Francis




Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

30 Dec 2019 13:49

Last Modified:

19 Dec 2020 02:30

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

General practice career choice graduate medical education job satisfaction loneliness personality





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