Open Access Research article

General practitioner teachers’ job satisfaction and their medical students' wish to join the field – a correlational study

Damian Notker Meli1*, Angie Ng2, Sarah Singer1, Peter Frey1 and Mireille Schaufelberger1

Author Affiliations

1 Berner Institut für Hausarztmedizin BIHAM, Gesellschaftsstrasse 49, 3012 Bern, Switzerland

2 Durham University, 32 Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HN, UK

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BMC Family Practice 2014, 15:50  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-50

Published: 24 March 2014



There will be increasing competition for young physicians worldwide as more and more physicians retire. While enthusiasm towards GP work is important for GP teachers as role models, satisfaction within the profession has declined. This study aims to determine if medical students’ desire to become GPs is related to the job satisfaction of their teaching GPs and explore the factors tied to this job satisfaction.


In this cross-sectional, correlational study, teaching GPs of the University of Bern and the fourth year medical students completing internships with them filled in separate questionnaires.


Whether or not the GP teacher is perceived by a student to be satisfied with her/his job is correlated to that student’s satisfaction with the internship, which in turn, is correlated with student’s wish to be a GP after the internship. Results show which factors are most related to GP job satisfaction and the effect of working hours and their composition.


Medical students’ perception of their GP teachers’ job satisfaction positively affect their wish to become GPs, and their satisfaction with their internships adds to this. Enhancing the positive aspects of GP work, such as recognition, and improving negative ones, such as administrative duties, are necessary to attract medical students into the GP field.

Clerkship; Teaching; General Practice; Job satisfaction; Medical students