Generalist practicing: is it worth it?

stetho

(Hush Naidoo, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Ana Laura Dutra Queruz, a 18 years old and a second year medical student at UniCesumar, in Maringá, Paraná – Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The foundation of a health system should always be primary health care, which meets the majority of the health needs of the population over their lives. Primary health care (PHC) includes a range of services such as prevention, treatment and palliative care, combining physical, psychological and social aspects of the community, this places PHC as the gateway to a health system.

General practitioners (GP), although truly indispensable to the primary attention, are in a number decay due to the lack of incitement during medical formation to this area. In 2011, Brazil registered, according to the Federal Council of Medicine, 204,563 specialist physicians and 167,225 generalists. Recently, a crisis in GP workforce has been spread worldwide, medical students are guided to specialization careers and it has became uncommon to find students that aim to be general practicers. Why would the ones that study and appreciate medicine chose to work with only a small portion of it?

Following the generalist career, the doctor is subject to face a range of different demands. This one needs as well to be able to accomplish indispensable clinical procedures for emergency care. A combination of these factors characterizes the GP’s work as much more complex and challenging, especially in countries as Brazil, where public health lacks the structure and resources to perform such obligations. We can also observe a job market favorable to the specialist, in addition to a better remuneration and social prestige.

The new workforce chases for specialization careers as soon as possible, looking for acknowledgment and financial feedback, commonly associated to the specialists. A reluctance to work in primary health care is due to the hospitals and clinics excessive demand, in addition, a low scientific and professional potential image of the generalist was created within the professionals, the fake idea of dependence of the specialist tends to lead students to opt for the specialties.

A recrudescence of the shortage of professionals in primary care occurring around the world is a consequence of the image of the general practitioner in society, its low valorization by the public health and the much more exhaustive work. The lack of medical investment causes the community to have even lower access to the health system, with the consequent poor guidance and precarious health. But then, how would this be solved?

Community’s health depends on institutions that encourage patients to seek the general practitioner, demonstrating its importance in promoting and maintaining health. Medical schools must undertake to provide the student with the basic healthcare system, understanding and contributing to public health and basic procedures, at the beginning of the course, in a practical setting. The presence of the student in the general practitioner’s work environment places this professional as inspiration and demonstrating the importance of cherishing primary healthcare.

Home visits to the local community, working in prevention of various diseases, would cultivate an interest in general medicine, without allowing our future health workforce to close their minds to previously planned specialties. Finally, the association of the figure of the specialist as a professional that holds better perception and clinical resolution, greater understanding and knowledge will be deconstructed gradually.

References

https://www.cremesp.org.br/siteAcao=CentroDados&acao=detalhes_capitulos&cod_capitulo=2

https://www.who.int/whr/2006/06_chap3_en.pdf

McDonald, Paula, How can medical schools encourage students to choose general practice as a career?, Br J Gen Pract. 2016 Jun;

link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4871286/

Coulter, Angela, What do patients and the public want from primary care?, BMJ 2005;331:1199, 17 November 2005

link: https://www.bmj.com/content/331/7526/1199.full

J, Judd, Building health promotion capacity in a primary health care workforce in the Northern Territory: some lessons from practice, Health Promot J Austr. 2013 Dec;24.

link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24355336

About the author

Ana Laura Dutra Queruz is 18 years old and a second year medical student at UniCesumar, in Maringá, Paraná – Brazil. She has a lot of interest in health and how it is affected. Besides, she really likes politics, social actions and music. She has been improving her learning and skills to disseminate her knowledgement and possibly helping the community.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

Human health – litmus paper for the climate change?

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Don’t compare data to oil – digitization needs a new mindset

Eurozone in trouble after Nicosia’s ‘no’

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

What is the IMF telling Eurozone about fiscal and banking unification?

Launch of Pact for Youth: European Youth Forum calls for real business engagement

Financial transactions tax gets go ahead

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

The EU might as well go down the drain if foreign meddling corrupts May’s elections

Merkel, Mercedes and Volkswagen to abolish European democracy

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

Here are 5 security challenges Nigeria’s leader must tackle

A Europe that protects: EU customs seized over 31 million fake goods at EU borders in 2017

UN chief praises Africa for keeping ‘hearts and borders open’ in refugee crisis

A new bioeconomy strategy for a sustainable Europe

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

Landmark terror finance resolution adopted by Security Council

Rohingya emergency one year on: UN says thousands of lives saved, but challenges remain

Why growth is now a one way road for Eurozone

Manufacturers Get Smarter for Industry 4.0

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: There is a new draft agreement on the negotiating table

Meet the Junior Enterprise network at JEWC 2014!

‘Moral obligation and political imperative’ to support Syria on path to peace: Guterres

Bangladesh elections: Hold those responsible accountable for ‘violent attacks and intimidation’

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

Measuring consumer confidence isn’t useful anymore. Here’s what we should do instead

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

MEPs adopt new Fisheries Partnership with Morocco including Western Sahara

What matters most to young Europeans?

COP21 Breaking News: “There is an ecological debt that the world needs to pay back to Africa”, French President Francois Hollande promises 2 Billion euros by 2020 from Paris

EU to present a “hefty” exit bill to the UK moments before Brexit negotiations

Future of our planet hinges on action by today’s youth – UN deputy chief

The global economy is woefully unprepared for biological threats. This is what we need to do

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

This is what a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries could look like

Global climate change: consequences for human health in Brazilian cities

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

EU gas market: new rules agreed will also cover gas pipelines entering the EU

Draghi rehabs ECB into a tool to support growth and employment; a departure from Teutonic orthodoxy

Egypt urged to free prominent couple jailed arbitrarily since last June: UN rights office

Migration surge leaves children stranded, begging on Djibouti’s streets

ECB to play down IMF’s alarms for deflation danger in the EU

Commission adopts €4 billion investment package for infrastructure projects across 10 Member States

How to close the gender pay gap in three steps

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

Here’s how data can shine a light on financial crime

More progress needed on reducing and redesigning agricultural support policies

China is building 8 new airports a year

Pesticides: MEPs propose blueprint to improve EU approval procedure

Everybody for himself in G20 and IMF

Here are five things to know about the future of being human

4 reasons cities should embrace Universal Basic Income

This is why Dutch teenagers are among the happiest in the world

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

Counting unemployment in the EU: The real rate comes to anything between 16.1% and 20.6%

EU finally agreed to cut roaming charges in 2017 but criticism is always there

Yanukovych attempts a violent and deadly cleansing of Kiev’s center

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s