Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 1, January-February 2009

Choosing general practice A review of career choice determinants

Narelle Shadbolt Jeremy Bunker
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This review takes a narrative synthesis approach – a systematic approach to interpreting complex evidence – to a broad literature review of the complex issue of medical career decision making. Addressing the Australian general practice workforce crisis requires an understanding of career choice motivators. The biggest recruitment losses are those not ever considering general practice as a career. Although flexibility and work-life balance are important motivators, more important is the perceived intellectual challenge of the career. Most career decisions are made in the early postgraduate years when doctors have little general practice exposure and many form incorrect perceptions. The morale and self esteem of the general practice profession has an important impact on choice. Every general practice encounter is an opportunity to showcase the profession as an intellectually stimulating, challenging and interesting career choice.

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