Finding, recruiting, and sustaining the future primary care physician workforce: A new theoretical model of specialty choice process

Keisa L. Bennett, Julie P. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite decades of research, interventions to increase the rate of medical students choosing primary care specialties have not been widely successful. METHOD: A systematic literature review incorporating a secondary data analysis. A model was developed by applying decision-making theories to the pertinent literature and incorporating systematic feedback from colleagues and experts. RESULTS: The model illustrates multiple pathways to specialty choice. Students can be characterized as those who maintain a commitment to primary care throughout medical school, those who are never interested in primary care, and those who change preferences. Multiple categories of factors affect these students differently, including demographics, the medical school experience, student interests, perceived specialty characteristics, lifestyle and financial considerations, the health care environment, identity development, and the choice process. CONCLUSIONS: This theoretical model is a guide to targeting interventions toward cultivation of more primary care physicians and clarifies areas needing further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S81-S88
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume85
Issue number10 SUPPL.
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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