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There have been recent concerns about difficulties in recruiting doctors to careers in academic medicine in the United Kingdom. This paper presents the views of general practitioners (GPs) in academic posts about careers in academic general practice, with particular interest in incentives and disincentives. A national postal questionnaire survey of GPs in academic posts showed that incentives which were commonly scored as 'strong' in pursuing a career in academic general practice were the variety of work and opportunities to teach (rated strongly by, respectively, 88% and 62% of respondents). The incentive of achievement in research did not rate as commonly as it had in a similar survey of academics in specialist hospital medicine (rated strongly by 57% of GPs and 76% of specialists). Most respondents (81%) considered that there were financial disincentives in pursuing an academic career. Other disincentives included the difficulty of combining competing demands between different elements of the job. However, the majority of respondents indicated high levels of job satisfaction and agreed that, given the choice again, they would choose an academic career. Despite some specific concerns, most regarded academic general practice favourably. Typically, teaching is regarded more highly, and achievement in research is regarded a little less highly, as a motivator by academic GPs.


Journal article


Education for Primary Care

Publication Date





465 - 471