Career intentions and perceptions of general practice on entry to medical school: baseline findings of a longitudinal survey at three UK universities

Darnton, Richard and Massou, Efthalia and Brimicombe, James and Kinnear, John and Tisi, Roger and Burns, Alys and Wood, Diana F. and Wilkinson, Paul O. (2021) Career intentions and perceptions of general practice on entry to medical school: baseline findings of a longitudinal survey at three UK universities. BJGP Open, 5 (6). BJGPO.2021.0120. ISSN 2398-3795

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0120

Abstract

Background- Medical graduates from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge have a lower intention to become GPs compared with other UK medical graduates. It is not clear to what extent this difference is present on admission to medical school. Aim- To compare the career intention and influencing factors of students on admission to different UK medical schools. Design & setting- First year of a 6-year prospective cohort study of medical students admitted in autumn 2020 to the three East of England medical schools: University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Cambridge (UOC), and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). Method- An online survey instrument was administered at the beginning of the first year. This measured self-reported career interests and various influencing factors, including perceptions of general practice. Results- UOC students declared a lower intention to become a doctor, a higher likelihood of choosing careers in pathology and public health, and a much lower likelihood of becoming a GP than students of UEA or ARU (all at P<0.001). In all three schools, the phrases least associated with general practice were 'opportunities for creativity/innovation' and 'research/academic opportunities', whereas the phrases most associated with general practice were 'favourable working hours' and 'flexibility'. However, research/academic opportunities were far more important, and favourable working hours far less important, to UOC students (P<0.001 for both) than to students of UEA or ARU. Conclusion- UOC students’ lower intention to become a GP appears to be present on entry to medical school. This may be explained in part by these students placing a higher importance on research/academic opportunities, combined with the widely held perception that GP careers lack these opportunities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: career choice, intention, medical schools, medical students, perception, Primary healthcare, prospective studies, general practice
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 16:34
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 16:18
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707321

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