Experience adds up! Questionnaire study: Attitudes of medical students towards a career in general practice

Mayur Gami, Amanda Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Insufficient young doctors choose careers in general practice - this may relate to cultural, personal and educational influences during medical school. University of East Anglia (UEA) medical school historically produces more GPs than most but no previous studies have aimed to quantify factors which may be leading to this. This study's aim was to improve understanding of the attitudes of students towards general practice (GP) at UEA. A questionnaire study compared views of three different years of students. GP was the most popular choice for male and female students, with women expressing higher levels of commitment. Students saw GP as intellectually stimulating and making key contributions to the NHS. The main reason for the choice of GP was interest in the speciality, with positive influences attributed to contact with GPs and general practice as a setting during their course. These results suggest course design and presence of GP faculty in core teaching have crucial influences on career choices. GP can be a popular career choice, but the perceptions which lead to that choice are course-and experience - dependent. Reforms towards community-based learning and the involvement of GPs in training are crucial levers for change if workforce needs are to be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalEducation for Primary Care
Issue number2
Early online date21 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Career Choice
  • Education
  • General Practice
  • Medical
  • medical students
  • GP

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