Background It has been suggested that the quantity of exposure to general practice teaching at medical school is associated with future choice of a career as a GP.
Aim To examine the relationship between general practice exposure at medical school and the percentage of each school’s graduates appointed to a general practice training programme after foundation training (postgraduate years 1 and 2).
Design and setting A quantitative study of 29 UK medical schools.
Method The UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) destination surveys of 2014 and 2015 were used to determine the percentage of graduates of each UK medical school who were appointed to a GP training programme after foundation year 2. The Spearman rank correlation was used to examine the correlation between these data and the number of sessions spent in placements in general practice at each medical school.
Results A statistically significant association was demonstrated between the quantity of authentic general practice teaching at each medical school and the percentage of its graduates who entered GP training after foundation programme year 2 in both 2014 (correlation coefficient [r] 0.41, P = 0.027) and 2015 (r 0.3, P = 0.044). Authentic general practice teaching here is described as teaching in a practice with patient contact, in contrast to non-clinical sessions such as group tutorials in the medical school.
Discussion The authors have demonstrated, for the first time in the UK, an association between the quantity of clinical GP teaching at medical school and entry to general practice training. This study suggests that an increased use of, and investment in, undergraduate general practice placements would help to ensure that the UK meets its target of 50% of medical graduates entering general practice.