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Educ Prim Care. 2020 Mar 10:1-10. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2020.1734970. [Epub ahead of print]

Promoting general practice as a career to medical students; a qualitative study of the approaches of undergraduate GP tutors.

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Community Based Medicine, The University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
Warwick Medical School, The University of Warwick, Warwick, UK.


Background: Undergraduate (UG) General Practice (GP) tutors have been identified in the literature and in key UK workforce planning documents as one of the main influences on medical students' decisions about pursuing a career in GP.Aim: To explore the attitudes and educational approaches of UG GP tutors in promoting GP as a career.Design and Setting: A pragmatic constructivist qualitative study, interviewing 8 UG GP tutors supervising undergraduate final year medical students on placement.Method: Interviews were transcribed, coded and grouped into themes using NVIVO11. Analysis was descriptive and interpretive using principles of thematic analysis.Results: Tutors saw their role as promoting GP, supporting informed career decisions, correcting misconceptions and giving honest views. They used tutorials, critical reflection, exposure to authentic GP and role-modelling to promote GP, challenge misconceptions, and showcase managing complexities..Discussion: By guiding students to identify, discuss and reflect on their beliefs and by using clinical encounters and role modelling with further reflection, tutors enabled students to get a true picture of GP to identify if they could handle the challenges and complexities of the job. Kolb's experiential learning cycle could form a framework to guide tutors in clinical settings supporting students making informed career decisions.


General practice; decision making; medical education; medical students; occupation

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