Thursday, 1 October 2015

RCGP Annual Conference Glasgow

As part of the GP society at university, we have been conducting some research into what medical students think about General Practice as a career, over the past few weeks. It sounds really boring, but I've been the head researcher and I've actually really enjoyed the experience!

The results that we got back were really interesting - we found that people think that other medical students are really negative about GP, saying that it is not 'cool' enough or is all coughs and colds. However when medical students were directly asked what they thought about GP, they were all really positive about it and many would consider it as a career. This shows that the stigma that GP is a 'cop-out' or an inferior specialty to others is not actually believed by many medical students, even though they may think that others think it.

We also found that hospital clinicians are generally negative about General Practice as a career, which may affect students' attitudes when choosing which speciality they would like to go into. One person even said that a surgeon asked them to leave the operating room when they admitted that they would like to be a GP, and another said they were embarrassed to tell people that they would like to choose General Practice as a career. On the other hand, students commented that GPs and lecturers are all generally positive about the job.

From all of this research we formed an academic poster, which we are currently presenting at the RCGP conference in Glasgow. I'm really proud of how quickly we have gathered the information, as well as being proud of myself for gaining ethical approval and creating the questionnaire.

I've had a really great day in Glasgow today, which has been helped by the masses of food - there was even free pick and mix provided! (I got two bags... One to share with Maya whom I'm sharing a Travelodge room with tonight, as a midnight snack). Glasgow is actually a really beautiful city; I've never been before but was actually really pleasantly surprised. I'm hoping to see a bit more of it tomorrow.

After this conference we are hoping to get some more responses to our questionnaire so that we can do a bit more analysis and hopefully get our results published. I think it's really important to educate medical students about what a career in General Practice is like, as it is estimated that 50% of us will become GPs in the future - plus it's such a rewarding job and GPs are given much less credit than they should be.
Rule your mind or it will rule you.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on getting research and poster from it! This is such an interesting topic, and I definitely would have thought that other medical students look down on General practice, so it's fascinating to see that actually they don't seem to! I have though certainly felt the negativity from hospital doctors, and don't always want to 'admit' to some that I want to train in psychiatry or general practice. When it's analysed, Bristol typically produces a smaller proportion of GPs than other medical schools so it's interesting to see how this varies around the country.
    Jennifer x
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