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Who wants to be a GP?

Medical Students’ attitudes towards General Practice and factors affecting career choice: a questionnaire study.

GPs are not being recruited at rates necessary to sustain the GP workforce in England. Few newly qualified doctors specify that they want to be GPs and many choose the career late after considering other hospital specialities. The aims of this research project, which is being carried out by Dr Mydhili Chellappahy (GP Teaching Fellow), are to determine current medical students’ attitudes towards a career general practice and to identify influences on career choice and challenges to general practice recruitment.

Students were recruited from all years at Imperial College Medical School. An online anonymous survey was set up and participants followed a web link to access the survey. Participants responded to a series of statements about general practice and career choice, using a Likert scale to show their degree agreement with each statement. There was also a free text option to explore students’ views further.

We will compare results between years, to see if practical experience of general practice through placement affects attitudes. Preliminary results show that medical students have a positive outlook on general practice although only a minority so far have chosen it as their first choice speciality.

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