A step closer to attracting more junior doctors into GP training in SA…..

The GPEx Research & Innovation Team, in conjunction with the University of Adelaide, has completed the Medical Specialty Decision Making (MSDM) Research Project – and the results are in.

This important research project was funded by SA Health to understand perceptions of general practice, particularly rural general practice, in comparison to other specialities. The factors that influence career decision-making for medical students, junior doctors and specialists in training was also explored.

This piece of research was extremely important for GPEx, contributing to our future planning to attract more junior doctors into GP training in SA and the rural pathway.

The project has revealed a number of important findings which will inform the SA Rural Health Workforce Strategy. GPEx is working on mapping these findings to a series of recommendations for what we can do attract more applicants to general practice, especially rural general practice.

A summary report will be available via the GPEx Research and Innovation page
of our website soon.

For now, some key messages emerging from the report include:

  • There are a number of perceptions of general practice which need to be addressed/ challenged in order to attract more junior doctors to the specialty, such as:
    • Participants perceived that the media and the professional organisations conveyed GP as a ‘specialty in crisis’.
    • There were vastly confused views on what GPs earned, with an extreme view that GPs were earning ‘less than minimum wage’.
    • Rural general practice was seen to be an option which was both professionally and socially isolating, with a lack of support provided.
  • Having access to quality experiences at both medical school level and pre-vocational level is critical to informed decision-making.
    • We need to increase access to quality experiences of General Practice, particularly at the pre-vocational level.
    • Those experiences need to be authentic and communicate the diversity and intellectual challenge of general practice.
    • Supervisors and their ability to showcase and communicate the positive aspects of general practice, and dispel the myths, are critical to the quality of the experience

Overall it is clear that as a General Practice community we need to work together to influence change!

Want to know more? Contact our Aboriginal Health Team today