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Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2014 Jul;57(7):892-902. doi: 10.1007/s00103-014-1984-6.

[Promotion of next generation primary care physicians: initiatives in the university training of medical students].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Allgemeinmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246, Hamburg, Deutschland.



There is, and will be a serious shortage of young primary care physicians in Germany. Initiatives at medical faculties focusing on primary care may increase the recruitment of young primary care physicians.


The present report describes national and international university initiatives, as well as programs for the recruitment of primary care physicians, and reports on their evaluation.


We searched medical data bases, journals and the internet using corresponding key words in the sense of a pragmatic review article. We also contacted experts who were questioned on this topic.


Initiatives for increasing the recruitment of young general practitioners were identified at nine medical faculties in Germany. The underlying hypothesis of the existing programs is that the decision to become a primary care physician depends on the time point, extent and quality of the training at medical school. The decisive limitation of existing programs is that they have been sparsely evaluated. The available results from evaluations consistently indicate quite large positive effects on the recruitment rates; however, the underlying study designs are highly prone to bias.


The identified initiatives can be grouped into three different models: (1) postgraduate studies, (2) specialized curricula for selected students with high interest in primary care and (3) longitudinal integration of primary care teaching in the obligatory curriculum. Different aspects, such as selection of the curricular model, definition of content, reimbursement of personnel and material expenses as well as evaluation are relevant to the planning and implementation of such initiatives.

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