Yorkshire and Humber GP trainees want to work in areas of greater socioeconomic deprivation

In a survey of Yorkshire and Humber GP Specialist Trainees, Leeds University medical students Taaha Nadeem and Alistair Ramsay found trainee doctors were well supported in both affluent and deprived areas and expressed a desire to work in areas of higher deprivation in future.

The survey was sent out to all Yorkshire and Humber trainees (ST1-3) and 44 responses were obtained. It comprised a burnout and satisfaction questionnaire based on a standard model, questions concerning current attitudes to working in areas of socioeconomic deprivation and future career intentions plus three open questions covering similar themes.

27 responses were received from trainees in practices falling outside those with a population IMD2015 score in the most deprived quartile and 17 responses were received from trainees working in the most deprived 25% of GP practices.

Across the two groups there was no significant difference in either levels of burnout or levels of satisfaction with work and training. Trainees were enjoying their work, felt their training was of a high quality and felt well supported by their colleagues.

Interestingly, 84% of all trainees responding to the survey expressed a desire to work in areas of greater deprivation in future. Of those training in areas of greater affluence, 46% wanted to work in more deprived areas in future compared versus 16% of the same cohort wanting to work in a more affluent area.

Some positive and negative comments are captured in the table below.

Positive comments  

Negative comments

 

Affluent group “I’d prefer to work in an affluent area, as they tend to take more responsibility for their own health.”

“A great mix of social classes”

“Worried well and Dr Google are common issues”

“I feel the patients are a bit “spoiled” for want of a better word”.

“More affluent can be more difficult to manage as higher expectations”

“I think sometimes pts in more affluent areas try to exert their authority over you, citing things they have read or saying “well my friend who is a Consultant cardiologist says…””

Deprived group “Complex presentations, which are enjoyable and further my training as a GP in a supported environment.”

“I love it. The patients are good people and grateful.”

“The patients actually appreciate you and you feel like you are making a genuine difference to their health.”

“I like working in more deprived areas as I feel I can do more to help. Lots of health behaviour change opportunities. Can have a bigger impact.”

“Patients can be harder to deal with as they often don’t have the same access to resources e.g. internet”

“High social deprivation, highly demanding in needs, lack of time and resources.”

“I don’t enjoy the number of home visits allocated to trainees.”

The study suggests there may be a desire across the current cohort Yorkshire and Humber GP trainees to work in areas of higher socioeconomic deprivation and that training is generally well regarded by GPSTs working in the region.

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