Why do Danish junior doctors choose general practice as their future specialty? Results of a mixed-methods survey.
ABSTRACT: Background: A well-staffed and an efficient primary healthcare sector is beneficial for a healthcare system but some countries experience problems in recruitment to general practice. Objectives: This study explored factors influencing Danish junior doctors' choice of general practice as their specialty. Methods: This study is based on an online questionnaire collecting quantitative and qualitative data. Two focus-group interviews were conducted to inform the construction of the questionnaire to ensure high content validity. All Danish junior doctors participating in general practice specialist training in 2015 were invited to participate in the survey, from which both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. The data was analysed using systematic text condensation and descriptive statistics. Results: Of 1099 invited, 670 (61%) junior doctors completed the questionnaire. Qualitative data: junior doctors found educational environments and a feasible work-life balance were important. They valued patient-centred healthcare, doctor-patient relationships based on continuity, and the possibility of organizing their work in smaller, manageable units. Quantitative data: 90.8% stated that the set-up of Danish specialist-training programme positively influenced their choice of general practice as their specialty. Junior doctors (80.4%) found that their university curriculum had too little emphasis on general practice, 64.5% agreed that early basic postgraduate training in general practice had a high impact on their choice of general practice as their specialty. Conclusion: Several factors that might positively affect the choice of general practice were identified. These factors may hold the potential to guide recruitment strategies for general practice.
Project description:Emigration has contributed to a shortage of doctors in many sub-Saharan African countries. Specialty training is highly valued by doctors and a potential tool for retention. Yet not all types of training may be valued equally. In the first study to examine preferences for postgraduate training in depth, we carried out a discrete choice experiment as part of a cross-sectional survey of all Malawian doctors within seven years of graduation and not yet in specialty training. Over August 2012 to March 2013, 148 doctors took part out of 153 eligible in Malawi. Despite evidence that specialty training is highly sought after, Malawian junior doctors would not accept all types of training. Doctors preferred timely training outside of Malawi in core specialties (internal medicine, general surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics & gynaecology). Specialty preferences are particularly strong, with most junior doctors requiring nearly double their monthly salary to accept training all in Malawi and over six-fold to accept training in ophthalmology (representing a bundle of unpopular but priority specialties). In contrast, the location of work before training did not significantly influence most doctors' choices when guaranteed specialty training. Using a latent class model, we identified four subgroups of junior doctors with distinct preferences. Policy simulations showed that these preferences could be leveraged by policymakers to improve retention in exchange for guaranteed specialty training, however incentivising the uptake of training in priority specialties will only be effective in those with more flexible preferences. These results indicate that indiscriminate expansion of postgraduate training to slow emigration of doctors from sub-Saharan African countries may not be effective unless doctors' preferences are taken into account.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:This study draws on an in-depth investigation of factors that influenced the career decisions of junior doctors. SETTING:Junior doctors in the UK can choose to enter specialty training (ST) programmes within 2 years of becoming doctors. Their specialty choices contribute to shaping the balance of the future medical workforce, with views on general practice (GP) careers of particular interest because of current recruitment difficulties. This paper examines how experiences of medical work and perceptions about specialty training shape junior doctors' career decisions. PARTICIPANTS:Twenty doctors in the second year of a Foundation Training Programme in England were recruited. Purposive sampling was used to achieve a diverse sample from respondents to an online survey. RESULTS:Narrative interviewing techniques encouraged doctors to reflect on how experiences during medical school and in medical workplaces had influenced their preferences and perceptions of different specialties. They also spoke about personal aspirations, work priorities and their wider future.Junior doctors' decisions were informed by knowledge about the requirements of ST programmes and direct observation of the pressures under which ST doctors worked. When they encountered negative attitudes towards a specialty they had intended to choose, some became defensive while others kept silent. Achievement of an acceptable work-life balance was a central objective that could override other preferences.Events linked with specific specialties influenced doctors' attitudes towards them. For example, findings confirmed that while early, positive experiences of GP work could increase its attractiveness, negative experiences in GP settings had the opposite effect. CONCLUSIONS:Junior doctors' preferences and perceptions about medical work are influenced by multiple intrinsic and extrinsic factors and experiences. This paper highlights the importance of understanding how perceptions are formed and preferences are developed, as a basis for generating learning and working environments that nurture students and motivate their professional careers.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The proportion of junior doctors required to complete psychiatry placements in the UK has increased, due in part to vacant training posts and psychiatry career workforce shortages, as can be seen across the world. The aim of this study was to understand the lived experience of a Foundation Year 1 junior doctor psychiatry placement and to understand how job components influence attitudes. DESIGN:The study was conducted using a cross-sectional qualitative phenomenological approach. SETTING:Hospital and community psychiatry department settings in the North East of England, UK. PARTICIPANTS:In total, 14 Foundation Year 1 junior doctors were interviewed including seven men and seven women aged between 23 and 34 years. The majority had completed their medical degree in the UK and were White British. RESULTS:The lived experience of a junior doctor psychiatry placement was understood by three core themes: exposure to patient recovery, connectedness with others in the healthcare team and subjective interpretations of psychiatry. The experiences were moderated by instances of role definition, reaction to the specialty and the organisational fit of the junior doctor capacity in the specialty. CONCLUSIONS:The study reinforces and adds to the literature by identifying connectedness as being important for both job satisfaction and morale, which is currently damaged within the junior doctor population. The study provides in-depth insights into the lived experience of psychiatry placements and can be taken forward by educationalists to ensure the placements are meaningful experiences for junior doctors by developing role definition, belonging, structure and psychiatric care responsibility.
Project description:Question: Endoscopy is an integral part of surgical gynaecology and is playing an increasingly important role in ensuring adequate gynaecological training in the context of specialty training in general. At present, little is known about the expectations and notions of young junior doctors with respect to endoscopic training. For this reason, junior doctors throughout Germany were surveyed on this topic and asked to share their opinions. Methods: Using an anonymized standardized survey, the following information was elicited: importance of endoscopic training, willingness to take courses, expectations for instructors and the hospital, ideas about the number of required operations, both as a surgical assistant and as a surgeon, as well as satisfaction with the current status of training. The questionnaires were sent via the Young Forum (Junges Forum) of the German Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (DGGG) and the newsletter of the Working Group for Gynaecological Endoscopy (AGE). Results: The evaluation of the study was based on 109 completed questionnaires. The resident junior doctors were 31 years old on average and were in their third to fourth year of their specialty training on average. The majority of the participants (87?%) considered the learning of endoscopic techniques to be very important and advocated regular participation in endoscopy training courses. Among the participants, 48?% were prepared to invest up to €1500 of their own funds to attend courses up to twice a year during the entire specialty training period. The expectations of the instructors and institutions focused on technical expertise, the willingness and time for teaching and on the number and range of surgical procedures, followed by being granted leave for the courses and having costs covered for the courses. Thirty-eight per cent stated that their expectations had been completely or mostly met and 62?% said they had been met in part or inadequately. Eighty-three per cent of the respondents reported that they would change specialty training institutions in order to achieve their own goals in the context of specialty training. Conclusions: This study presents data for the first time on the satisfaction of young junior doctors and their expectations for endoscopic specialty training. The residents exhibited a high level of interest in endoscopy and a high level of willingness to actively shape the specialty training, including course participation. However, there appears to be a great deal of room for improvement for endoscopic specialty training, independent of the current training institution, training year or sex of the junior doctors.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Medical records are critical to patient care, but often contain incomplete information. In UK hospitals, record-keeping is traditionally undertaken by junior doctors, who are increasingly completing early-career placements in psychiatry, but negative attitudes towards psychiatry may affect their performance. Little is known about the accuracy of medical records in psychiatry in general. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) pertinent to clinical decision-making ("rationale") for prescribing completed by junior doctors during a psychiatry placement, focusing on the differences between psychotropic vs. non-psychotropic drugs and the temporal association during their placement. RESULTS:EMRs of 276 participants yielding 780 ward round entries were analysed, 100% of which were completed by Foundation Year or General Practice specialty training junior doctors rather than more senior clinicians. Compared with non-psychotropic drugs, documentation of prescribing rationale for psychotropic drugs was less likely (OR = 0.24, 95% CI 0.16-0.36, p < 0.001). The rate of rationale documentation significantly declined over time especially for psychotropic drugs (p < 0.001). Prescribing documentation of non-psychotropic drugs for people with mental illness is paradoxically more accurate than that of psychotropic drugs. Early-career junior doctors are therefore increasingly shaping EMRs of people receiving psychiatric care.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:For many years, the voice of patients has been understood as a critical element for the improvement of care quality in healthcare settings. How well medical graduates are prepared for clinical practice is an important question, but one that has rarely been considered from patient and public perspectives. We aimed to fill this gap by exploring patients and carers' experiences and expectations of junior doctors. DESIGN:This comprises part of a wider study on UK medical graduates' preparedness for practice. A qualitative narrative methodology was used, comprising four individual and six group interviews. PARTICIPANTS:25 patients and carers from three UK countries. ANALYSIS:Data were transcribed, anonymised and analysed using framework analysis. MAIN RESULTS:We identified three themes pertinent to answering our research question: (1) sources of knowledge (sources of information contributing to patients and carers' perceptions of junior doctors' impacting on expectations); (2) desires for student/trainee learning (experiences and expectations of medical training); and (3) future doctors (experiences and expectations of junior doctors). We also highlight metaphorical talk and humour, where relevant, in the quotes presented to give deeper insights into participants' perspectives of the issues. Participants focused on personal and interpersonal aspects of being a doctor, such as respect and communication. There was a strong assertion that medical graduates needed to gain direct experience with a diverse range of patients to encourage individualised care. Participants narrated their experiences of having symptoms ignored and attributed to an existing diagnosis ('diagnostic overshadowing') and problems relating to confidentiality. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings support the view that patients and carers have clear expectations about junior doctors, and that patient views are important for preparing junior doctors for practice. There is a necessity for greater dialogue between patients, doctors and educators to clarify expectations and confidentiality issues around patient care.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To explore the reasons that doctors choose to leave UK medicine after their foundation year two posts. SETTING:All four regions of Scotland. PARTICIPANTS:Foundation year two doctors (F2s) working throughout Scotland who were considering leaving UK medicine after foundation training were recruited on a volunteer basis. Maximum variation between participants was sought. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:Semistructured interviews were coded using template analysis. Six perspectives, described by Feldman and Ng, were used as the initial coding template. The codes were then configured to form a framework that explores the interplay of factors influencing Foundation Year 2 (F2) doctors' decisions to leave UK medicine. RESULTS:Seventeen participants were interviewed. Six perspectives were explored. Structural influences (countrywide and worldwide issues) included visas, economic and political considerations, structure of healthcare systems and availability of junior doctor jobs worldwide. Organisational influences (the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare providers) included staffing and compensation policies, the working environment and the learning environment. Occupational influences (specific to being a junior doctor) comprised the junior doctor contract, role and workload, pursuit of career interests and the structure of training. Work group influences (relationships with colleagues) included support at work, task interdependence and use of locums. Personal life influences consisted of work-life balance, and support in resolving work-life conflict. The underlying theme of 'taking a break' recurred through multiple narratives. CONCLUSIONS:F2s give reasons similar to those given by any professional considering a change in their job. However, working within the NHS as an F2 doctor brought specific challenges, such as a need to make a choice of specialty within the F2 year, exposure to workplace bullying and difficulties in raising concerns. Despite these challenges, most F2s did not view their decision to leave as a permanent job change, but as a temporary break from their current working lives.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Early recognition and immediate bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation are critical determinants of survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Our aim was to evaluate current knowledge on basic life support (BLS) in Danish high school students and benefits of a single training session run by junior doctors. METHODS: Six-hundred-fifty-one students were included. They underwent one 45-minute BLS training session including theoretical aspects and hands-on training with mannequins. The students completed a baseline questionnaire before the training session and a follow-up questionnaire one week later. The questionnaire consisted of an eight item multiple-choice test on BLS knowledge, a four-level evaluation of self-assessed BLS skills and evaluation of fear based on a qualitative description and visual analog scale from 0 to 10 for being first responder. RESULTS: Sixty-three percent of the students (413/651) had participated in prior BLS training. Only 28% (179/651) knew how to correctly recognize normal breathing. The majority was afraid of exacerbating the condition or causing death by intervening as first responder. The response rate at follow-up was 61% (399/651). There was a significant improvement in correct answers on the multiple-choice test (p < .001). The proportion of students feeling well prepared to perform BLS increased from 30% to 90% (p < .001), and the level of fear of being first responder was decreased 6.8 ± 2.2 to 5.5 ± 2.4 (p < .001). CONCLUSION: Knowledge of key areas of BLS is poor among high school students. One hands-on training session run by junior doctors seems to be efficient to empower the students to be first responders to OHCA.
Project description:Medical graduates' early career is known to be disorienting, and career decision-making is influenced by a complex set of factors. There is a strong association between rural background and rural undergraduate training and rural practice, and personal and family factors have been shown to influence workplace location, but the interaction between interest, training availability, and other work-relevant factors has not yet been fully explored. A qualitative study conducted by the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia (RCSWA) and WA Country Health Service (WACHS) explored factors influencing the decision to pursue rural work among junior doctors. Data collection and analysis was iterative. In total, 21 junior doctors were recruited to participate in semi-structured telephone interviews. Two main themes relating to the systems of influence on career decision-making emerged: (1) The importance of place and people, and (2) the broader context. We found that career decision-making among junior doctors is influenced by a complex web of factors operating at different levels. As Australia faces the challenge of developing a sustainable rural health workforce, developing innovative, flexible strategies that are responsive to the individual aspirations of its workforce whilst still meeting its healthcare service delivery needs will provide a way forward.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To analyse how training doctors' demographic and socioeconomic characteristics vary according to the specialty that they are training for. DESIGN:Descriptive statistics and mixed logistic regression analysis of cross-sectional survey data to quantify evidence of systematic relationships between doctors' characteristics and their specialty. SETTING:Doctors in training in the United Kingdom in 2013. PARTICIPANTS:27?530 doctors in training but not in their foundation year who responded to the National Training Survey 2013. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Mixed logit regression estimates and the corresponding odds ratios (calculated separately for all doctors in training and a subsample comprising those educated in the UK), relating gender, age, ethnicity, place of studies, socioeconomic background and parental education to the probability of training for a particular specialty. RESULTS:Being female and being white British increase the chances of being in general practice with respect to any other specialty, while coming from a better-off socioeconomic background and having parents with tertiary education have the opposite effect. Mixed results are found for age and place of studies. For example, the difference between men and women is greatest for surgical specialties for which a man is 12.121 times more likely to be training to a surgical specialty (relative to general practice) than a woman (p-value<0.01). Doctors who attended an independent school which is proxy for doctor's socioeconomic background are 1.789 and 1.413 times more likely to be training for surgical or medical specialties (relative to general practice) than those who attended a state school (p-value<0.01). CONCLUSIONS:There are systematic and substantial differences between specialties in respect of training doctors' gender, ethnicity, age and socioeconomic background. The persistent underrepresentation in some specialties of women, minority ethnic groups and of those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds will impact on the representativeness of the profession into the future. Further research is needed to understand how the processes of selection and the self-selection of applicants into specialties gives rise to these observed differences.