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Medical students’ experience of the hidden curriculum around primary care careers: a qualitative exploration of reflective diaries
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  • Published on:
    Letter to the Editor: Medical students’ experience of the hidden curriculum around primary care careers: a qualitative exploration of reflective diaries
    • Anish Verma, Fifth Year Medical Student The University of Manchester
    • Other Contributors:
      • Daniel Warrington, Fifth Year Medical Student
      • James Whiteway, Fifth Year Medical Student
      • Gavin HT Ball, Fifth Year Medical Student

    Dear Editor,

    As final year medical students considering future careers in general practice (GP), we welcome this insightful study exploring positive and negative perceptions of GP (1). This study is commendable in helping to address the severe GP shortages in the NHS (National Health Service) through a greater understanding of medical students’ attitudes towards GP. It is well-established that experiences during medical school strongly influence medical students’ career preferences, and thus may provide some insight into why fewer junior doctors enter GP training (2). As such, it remains imperative that we address these severe GP shortages in the NHS. If not, we risk perpetuating societal health inequalities, overwhelming GPs to the point of burnout and subsequently harming patient safety.

    Many of the issues presented by this study were consistent with our respective experiences during medical school. For instance, we encountered a number of negative perceptions surrounding GP as a career pathway during clinical placements, university teaching sessions or from family and friends. This included assumed gender stereotypes, in that GP is more suitable for women wanting a family life, as well as perceptions of limited enjoyment and lack of career progression and success. We believe that these views are outdated, but still remain too prevalent within the wider medical community, which can ultimately translate into the lay public’s perception of GPs.


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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.