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Medical applicant general practice experience and career aspirations: a questionnaire study

Agravat, P; Ahmed, T; Goudie, E; Islam, S; McKechnie, D; Abdirahman, HM; Ahmed, M; ... Woolf, K; + view all (2021) Medical applicant general practice experience and career aspirations: a questionnaire study. BJGP Open , 5 (3) , Article BJGPO.2021.0023. 10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0023. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Increasing access to general practice work experience placements for school students is a strategy for improving general practice recruitment, despite limited evidence and concerns surrounding equity of access to general practice experiences. Aims: To examine the association between undertaking general practice experience and the perceptions of general practice as an appealing future career among prospective medical applicants. To identify socioeconomic factors associated with obtaining general practice experience. Design & setting: Cross-sectional questionnaire study in the UK. Method: Participants were UK residents aged ≥16 years and seriously considering applying to study medicine in 2019/2020. They were invited to take part via the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT). Questionnaire data were analysed using a linear regression of general practice appeal on general practice experience, adjusting for career motivations and demographics, and a logistic regression of general practice experience on measures of social capital and demographics. Results: Of 6391 responders, 4031 were in their last year of school. General practice experience predicted general practice appeal after adjusting for career motivation and demographics (b = 0.37, standard error [SE] = 0.06, P<0.00001). General practice experience was more common among students at private (odds ratio [OR] = 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.31 to 2.08, P<0.0001) or grammar schools (OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 1.02 to 1.72, P = 0.03) and in the highest socioeconomic group (OR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.28 to 2.05, P<0.0001), and less likely among students of ‘other’ ethnicity (OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.20 to 0.67, P = 0.0011). Conclusion: Having general practice experience prior to medical school was associated with finding general practice appealing, which supports its utility in recruitment. Applicants from more deprived backgrounds were less likely to have had a general practice experience, possibly through lack of accessible opportunities.

Type: Article
Title: Medical applicant general practice experience and career aspirations: a questionnaire study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0023
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0023
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021, The Authors This article is Open Access: CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Keywords: Career choice, general practitioners, socioeconomic factors, schools, education, premedical
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122814
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