A qualitative study on factors that influence Turkish medical students' decisions to become family physicians after the health transformation Programme

Tanriover O., HIDIROĞLU S., Akan H., AY N. P., Erdogan Y., KARAVUŞ M., ...More

North American Journal of Medical Sciences, vol.6, no.6, pp.39-44, 2014 (Scopus) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/1947-2714.134374
  • Journal Name: North American Journal of Medical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.39-44
  • Keywords: Career, Choose, Family medicine, General practice, Specialty
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background: In Turkey, general practitioners were authorized to work as family physicians without specialization, within the scope of the Health Transformation Programme, due to inadequate number of family medicine specialists since 2004. With this new implementation Family Medicine specialty became a less preferable option for medical students. Aims: The study was to investigate the perspectives of medical students and understand the issues to choose Family Medicine specialty as a career option. Materials and Methods: This qualitative study was performed with 48 final year medical students using a convenience sample from two medical universities. Results: Three main categories emerged from the data viewing Family Medicine 'as a specialty', 'as an employment', and finally 'as a system'. Very few students stated that Family Medicine would be their choice for specialty. Conclusions: Family Medicine does not seem to be an attractive option in career planning by medical students. Several factors that may constrain students from choosing Family Medicine include: not perceiving Family Medicine as a field of expertise, and the adverse conditions at work which may originate from duality in the system.