Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Original article

Vol. 143 No. 2526 (2013)

Career after successful medical board examination in general practice – a cross-sectional survey

  • Ryan Tandjung
  • Oliver Senn
  • Franz Marty
  • Linda Krauss
  • Thomas Rosemann
  • Nina Badertscher
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2013;143:w13839


QUESTION UNDER STUDY: Switzerland is facing a shortage of general practitioners (GPs). Knowledge of the factors influencing career choice is crucial for increasing the attractiveness of general practice. The aim of our study was to report the working conditions of recently certified GPs and the effect of vocational training in general practice on GP skills and knowledge, and economic skills. Furthermore, we recorded when GPs chose general practice as a career, as well as potential barriers to and facilitators of their decision.

METHODS: Study design: Cross-sectional survey with an online-based questionnaire. Study group: 1,133 physicians certified in general practice between the years 2000 and 2010.

RESULTS: The response rate was 40.6% (456); 426 (44.1% females) were included in further analysis. A total of 341 (80.0%) were currently working in general practice. Female GPs were significantly more often employed (rather than working independently), working part-time and in group practices. Fifty-two (12.2%) of the participants did not work in general practice although they had intended to earlier. The majority (54.3%) of the participants working as GPs decided to become a GP during their residency. Overall, 60.6% of all participants completed vocational training in a general practice, which significantly improved self-perceived general practice skills compared with their colleagues without such training.

CONCLUSIONS: Residency is a more important time-period than medical school for career decisions to become a GP. Attractive residency programmes must be developed to engage physicians in this vulnerable phase. The workplace settings of female GPs were significantly different from those ofmale GPs. Vocational training in general practice had a positive effect on self-perceived GP skills.


  1. OECD. OECD Reviews of Health Systems Switzerland accessed online []. 2011.
  2. FMH SÄ. Ärztestatistik Schweiz – online Abfrage am 05. August 2011 auf 2011.
  3. Marty F. Praxisbarometer 2010. Primary Care. 2011;11:135–6.
  4. Marty F, Zemp N. Titelverleihungen Fachärztin/Facharzt FMH für Allgemeinmedizin 2009. Primary Care. 2010;10:149–50.
  5. Bennett KL, Phillips JP. Finding, recruiting, and sustaining the future primary care physician workforce: a new theoretical model of specialty choice process. Acad Med. 2010;85:S81–8.
  6. Maiorova T, Stevens F, van der Zee J, Boode B, Scherpbier A. Shortage in general practice despite the feminisation of the medical workforce: a seeming paradox? A cohort study. Bmc Health Serv Res. 2008;8:262.
  7. Morra DJ, Regehr G, Ginsburg S. Medical students, money, and career selection: students’ perception of financial factors and remuneration in family medicine. Fam Med. 2009;41:105–10.
  8. Newton DA, Grayson MS. Trends in career choice by US medical school graduates. JAMA. 2003;290:1179–82.
  9. Scott I, Gowans M, Wright B, Brenneis F, Banner S, Boone J. Determinants of choosing a career in family medicine. CMAJ. 2011;183:E1–8.
  10. Senf JH, Campos-Outcalt D, Kutob R. Factors related to the choice of family medicine: a reassessment and literature review. J Am Board Fam Pract. 2003;16:502–12.
  11. Shadbolt N, Bunker J. Choosing general practice – a review of career choice determinants. Aust Fam Physician. 2009;38:53–5.
  12. Sinclair HK, Ritchie LD, Lee AJ. A future career in general practice? A longitudinal study of medical students and pre-registration house officers. Eur J Gen Pract. 2006;12:120–7.
  13. Buddeberg-Fischer B, Klaghofer R, Abel T, Buddeberg C. Swiss residents’ speciality choices – impact of gender, personality traits, career motivation and life goals. Bmc Health Serv Res. 2006;6.
  14. Buddeberg-Fischer B, Klaghofer R, Stamm M, et al. Primary care in Switzerland no longer attractive for young physicians? (vol 136, pg 416, 2006). Swiss Med Wkly. 2006;136:520–.
  15. Buddeberg-Fischer B, Stamm M, Buddeberg C, Klaghofer R. The new generation of family physicians – career motivation, life goals and work-life balance. Swiss Med Wkly. 2008;138:305–12.
  16. Gnadinger M. The new generation of family physicians – career motivation, life goals and work-life balance. Swiss Med Wkly. 2008;138:618; author reply
  17. Halter U, Tschudi P, Bally K, Isler R. Berufsziel von Medizinstudierenden. Primary Care. 2005;5:468–72.
  18. Badertscher N, Schoni M, Berger L, Zoller M, Rosemann T. Vocational training of future GPs in Swiss hospitals: the view of assistant physicians. Praxis. (Bern 1994) 2011;100:349–55.
  19. Badertscher N, Schoni M, Zoller M, Rosemann T. Vocational training of future GPs in Swiss hospitals: the view of chief physicians. Praxis. (Bern 1994) 2011;100:781–5.
  20. Isler R, Romerio S, Halter U, et al. One-on-one long-term tutorials in general practitioners’ practices – a successful new teaching concept in primary care medicine. Swiss Med Wkly. 2009;139:161–5.
  21. Bauer W, Hänggeli C. Eine neue Epoche: das Weiterbildungsprogramm Allgemeine Innere Medizin. Schweizerische Ärztezeitung. 2010;91:1929–32.
  22. Rosemann T, Bandi-Ott E, Tandjung R. Das Curriculum für Hausarztmedizin am USZ – eine Erfolgsgeschichte. Schweizerische Ärztezeitung. 2012;93:1432–3.
  23. Gedrose B, Wonneberger C, Junger J, et al. Do female medical graduates have different views on professional work and workload compared to their male colleagues? Results of a multicenter postal survey in Germany. Deut Med Wochenschr. 2012;137:1242–7.
  24. EURACT EAoTiGPFM. Survey on Specialist Training in General Practice / Family Medicine, dynamic interactive database [], accessed online Nov 23rd 2012. 2009.
  25. RCGP RCoGP. GP curriculum, accessed online Nov 23rd 2012 on []. 2012.
  26. McAvoy BR, Kaner EF. General practice postal surveys: a questionnaire too far? BMJ 1996;313:732–3; discussion 3–4.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

<< < 1 2 3 4 > >>