BMJ Open 1:e000231 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000231
  • General practice & Family practice
    • Protocol

Attitudes and perceptions of medical students about family medicine in Spain: protocol for a cross-sectional survey

  1. for the University and Family Medicine Research Group (UNIMEDFAM)*
  1. 1Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, CIBERESP-IIB Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2Servicio Catalán de la Salud, División de Planificación y Evaluación Operativa, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3Institut Universitari d'Investigació en Atenció Primària Jordi Gol (IDIAP Jordi Gol), Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Cátedra UAB-Novartis de Docencia e Investigación en Medicina de Familia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5Cátedra UNIZAR-Novartis de Docencia e Investigación en Medicina de Familia y Atención Primaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
  6. 6Cátedra UAM-Novartis de Docencia e Investigación en Medicina de Familia y Atención Primaria, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amando Martin Zurro; a.martinzurro{at}
  • Received 23 June 2011
  • Accepted 30 September 2011
  • Published 21 December 2011


Background Despite the fact that family medicine (FM) has become established as a specialty in the past 25 years, this has not been reflected in the inclusion of the specialty in the majority of medical schools in Spain. Almost 40% of the students will work in primary care but, in spite of this, most universities do not have an assessed placement as such. There are only specific practice periods in health centres or some student-selected components with little weight in the overall curricula.

Objectives To evaluate the attitudes and perceptions of medical students about FM in the health system and their perception about the need for specific training in FM at the undergraduate level. To explore change over time of these attitudes and perceptions and to examine potential predictive factors for change. Finally, we will review what teaching activity in FM is offered across the Spanish schools of medicine.

Methods Descriptive cross-sectional survey. Each one of the different analyses will consist of two surveys: one for all the students in the first, third and fifth year of medical school in all the Spanish schools of medicine asking about their knowledge, perceptions and attitudes in relation to primary care and FM. There will be an additional survey for the coordinating faculty of the study in each university about the educational activities related to FM that are carried out in their centres. The repetition of the study every 2 years will allow for an analysis of the evolution of the cohort of students until they receive their degree and the potential predictive factors.

Discussion This study will provide useful information for strategic planning decisions, content and educational methodology in medical schools in Spain and elsewhere. It will also help to evaluate the influence of the ongoing changes in FM, locally and at the European level, on the attitudes and perceptions of the students towards FM in Spain.


  • * University and Family Medicine Research Group (UNIMEDFAM). Amando Martín Zurro, Josep Jiménez Villa, Antonio Monreal Hijar, Xavier Mundet Tuduri, Ángel Otero Puime, Pablo Alonso-Coello, Cristina Aguado Taberné, Pablo Bonal Pitz, Francisco Buitrago Ramírez, Concepción Carratalá Munera, Verónica Casado, Vicente, María Teresa Delgado Marroquin, Ramón Descarrega Queralt, Manuel Gálvez Ibáñez, Antonio J García Ruiz, Luís García Olmos, Vicente Francisco Gil Guillén, José Manuel Iglesias Sanmartin, Carmelo Jiménez Mena, Emilio Lara Valdivieso, Inés Lizaga Castillón, Antonio de Lorenzo-Cáceres Ascanio, Jorge Martínez de la Iglesia, Flora Martínez Pecino, Juan Francisco Menárguez Puche, M Pilar Navarrete Durán, Jorge Navarro Pérez, Domingo Orozco Beltran, Eduard Peñascal Pujol, José Ramón Rodríguez Borges, Pilar Rodríguez Ledo, Juan Alfonso Romero Furones, Mercedes Sánchez Martínez, Juana Agustina Santana Caballero, Orlando Segura Álamo, Antonio Solbes Caro, José Zarco Montejo.

  • To cite: Alonso-Coello P, Jiménez Villa J, Monreal Hijar A, et al. Attitudes and perceptions of medical students about family medicine in Spain: protocol for a cross-sectional survey. BMJ Open 2011;1:e000231. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000231

  • Funding This project is funded with a grant from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Ministerio de Sanidad, Spain (PI070975). PA-C is funded by a Miguel Servet contract by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (CP09/00137).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Contributors AMZ, JJV and PA-C participated in the conception and design of the protocol and drafted a first version. AMH, XMT and AOP participated in the design and provided important intellectual content to the first draft. All authors participated, revising it critically for important intellectual content and have given final approval of the version to be published.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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