Saturday 14th March keynote: Professor Jennifer Cleland, LKCMedicine
Doctors are people too: how research can inform policy and practice
Matching medical workforce supply to health need is a global issue. Although the absolute number of doctors in many countries continues to grow, the medical workforce is unevenly distributed by locality and some specialties are more popular than others. The precise nature of this issue differs by context, but in many countries, there has been a reported decline of doctors who choose careers in community-based specialties, general practice/family medicine and mental health relative to hospital-based specialties. Drawing on a 10-year interdisciplinary and multi-method programme of UK-focused work as well as the wider literature, in this talk I consider how individual characteristics (e.g., gender) and preferences (e.g., for work-life balance, for personalised training) are related to the career choices of medical students and Foundation/intern doctors. I will conclude by discussing the implications of this contemporary evidence for governments and healthcare organisations in relation to recruiting and retaining today’s generation of doctors.