Data from: What influence do courses at medical school and personal experience have on interest in practicing family medicine? – results of a student survey in Hessia
Bien, Antonia et al. (2019), Data from: What influence do courses at medical school and personal experience have on interest in practicing family medicine? – results of a student survey in Hessia, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.74tk6cr
Aim: Against the background of an impending shortage of family practitioners, it is important to investigate the factors influencing the choice to become one. The aim of this study was to identify factors that encourage medical students to choose to practice family medicine.
Method: Using a questionnaire, students in the fourth and fifth years of their studies in the Federal State of Hesse were asked about the factors that had influenced their choice of medical specialty and their experience of courses in family medicine. Predictors of an interest in practicing family medicine were calculated using multiple logistic regression.
Results: 361 questionnaires were returned, representing a response rate of 70.9%. Confirmation of personal strengths, an interest in the field, and practical experience of the subject generally turned out to be important factors influencing the choice of medical specialty. 49.3% of students expressed an interest in practicing family medicine. A link existed between an interest in working as a family doctor and the opportunity to take over an existing practice, experience of medicine in rural areas, and an appreciation of the conditions of work. With regard to education at medical school, positive experiences during a clinical traineeship in family medicine and positive role models among teachers of general practice were identified as predictors.
Conclusion: Almost half the medical students were open to the idea of practicing family medicine. Experience of medicine in rural areas and positive experiences of courses in general practice were linked to an increased interest in working as a family doctor. To promote this interest, it may be a promising approach to increase opportunities to collect experience of medicine in rural areas, and to encourage highly motivated teaching practices.