Perception of family medicine among medical students and medical educators in Ukraine: survey results

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This report is based on the survey results “Perceptions of family medicine by students and teachers of higher medical education institutions of Ukraine.” The research instrument for this study was developed by the Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health (Swiss TPH) and adapted for use in Ukraine within the framework of the Ukrainian-Swiss project “Medical Education Development”. Data were collected in March-April 2019 by project staff with the assistance of five higher education institutions (HEI) that participated in the study. The report presents the results of a survey of 2405 the medical faculty students who have been studying at their third and sixth years and 385 lecturers from different departments of these five HEIs.

A key result of the study is revealed and reported perceptions of status of family doctors in Ukraine among medical students and professors, including family medicine. Thus, students believe that it is not very prestigious to work as a family doctor in Ukraine, this profession is not valued, neither by society nor by doctors of other specialities. Students also emphasize that family physicians have limited career opportunities and mainly provide a coordinating role between the patient and the specialist doctor. Due to the relatively negative perception of many aspects of family physician activity, only 20% of students are interested in choosing a family physician specialization in the future.

We are grateful to those universities that have agreed to participate in the study and have been willing to work with us to develop family medicine in Ukraine. We appreciate the efforts of students and faculties who filled in the questionnaire, their open expression of opinions, which made it possible to obtain the information presented in the report.