Med schools "bad-mouthing" family medicine, study finds

February 22, 2011

New research from the University of Calgary concludes that "bad-mouthing (family medicine) appears to be a part of the medical education environment, and reducing the prevailing negativity might contribute to an increased number of students willing to consider careers in primary care." The study's lead author says students have often stated on feedback forms that professors made "inappropriate" comments about family medicine. Part of the problem, he and others note, is that many of the instructors in med schools are specialists. uCalgary struck a task force after the proportion of students choosing family medicine dropped to 18% in 2008 from 32% in 2005. The figures have rebounded to about 30%, but the med school believes it must produce as many family doctors as specialists to meet demand. One initiative at uCalgary is mandatory job-shadowing of family physicians. National Post