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A qualitative study of final-year medical students' perspectives of general practitioners' competencies

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Author(s): Björn Landström | Bengt Mattsson | Carl E. Rudebeck

Journal: International Journal of Medical Education
ISSN 2042-6372

Volume: 2;
Start page: 102;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: general practitioner | medical students | student’s perspective | reflective writing

ABSTRACT
Objectives: To investigate final-year medical students' perspectives of general practitioners' competencies. A further aim of the study was to investigate which type of clinical problems is properly managed by GPs according to students. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study of 49 final year medical students from two programmes. Reflective writing statements were used to collect data. Qualitative content analysis was employed to analyse data. Results: Three themes were identified to explain the conditions of a general practitioner (GP). They are: 'prerequisites', 'patients´ problems' and 'competence and clinical judgment' which reflect the specific features of primary care, presentation of symptoms by patient and the way that GPs approach an actual encounter. Conclusions: The students valued the importance of unselected patient problems, straightforwardness in contact and care as the characteristics of a competent GP. They viewed patients with different approaches and related their observations to problems of fragmentation within this large area of medical care. This is a period in the training of students in which students' views of general practice are formed.
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