THE PERCEPTION OF GRADUATES OF DUHOK COLLEGE OF MEDICINE ABOUT FAMILY MEDICINE
Background: There is the shortage in the number of family doctors in this region and across the world. The perception of medicine graduates toward family medicine as a career may provide information on the future supply of family doctors in Kurdistan region of Iraq. The perception and specialty preferences of graduates of Duhok College of Medicine toward family medicine were examined in the current study.
Subject and Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 131 medical graduates aged 24-29 years old of last three years from University of Duhok, College of Medicine working in Duhok governorate hospitals and its primary health centers was applied. Data were collected by the use of an anonymous self-administered questionnaire in English. Descriptive and analytic statistical methods were performed to find out the various aspects of the medical graduates’ preferences toward family medicine.
Results: The number of participants was 131 medical graduates included 59.5% males and 40.5% females. The study revealed that the mean age of the sample population was 26.31±1.36 years. The preferred medical specialties were radiology (40.5%), pediatrics (40.5%), internal medicine (33.6%), and general surgery (32.8%) by both genders. The lowest interest was shown toward the family medicine (10.0%) compared with other medical specialties. Working time (72.5%), prestige (66.9%), and patient interaction (65.6%) have been the most important aspects of their specialty selection in both genders. The majority of them stated that family medicine is poorly valued by our society (79.4%), family doctors have limited career possibilities (43.5%). The family medicine was poorly valued in our society because it does not able to increase the private job opportunities (p=0.003), is not very attractive (p=0.015), have limited career possibilities (p=0.006). Moreover, the graduates did not show their interest towards family medicine because it does not provide the salary as high as other medical fields in our society (p=0.018).
Conclusions: The medical graduates have currently a positive perception of family medicine as an essential clinical specialty in the region; however, they showed low interest in its selection as a future career. Numerous essential steps recommended to be done to reach the sufficient number of family doctor that would fulfill the need of our community.
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