Differences in GP Recruitment between Medical Schools: A Quantitative Study of FY2 Career Choices

Talk Code: 
Katie Munro
Author institutions: 
Newcastle University


Despite government promises to deliver 5000 extra full time GPs by 2020 there were 6.2% fewer full time qualified permanent GPs in 2019 than 2015.

Now more than ever we need to increase GP recruitment. Just 9% of trainees chose to enter GP training directly from FY2 last year, falling from 24% in 2012 [3]. Uptake of FY2s entering speciality training (ST) has similarly decreased from 68% in 2012 to 35% in 2019 [3].


Data published by the Foundation Programme since 2012 offers an insight into GP recruitment [3].

The Kruskal Wallis test was performed to determine if there was a statistically significant difference between different types of medical schools.


The proportion of FY2s entering GP training directly varies widely across all medical schools across all years: for example, in 2019 the percentage of FY2s entering ST choosing GP ranged from 16-57% [3].

Based on a p value less than 0.05 and 1 degree of freedom; for every year except 2019, there is a statistically significant difference in the percentage of FY2s entering ST choosing GP between medical schools founded before and after 2000. Similarly, a statistically significant difference was found between Russell group and non-Russell group universities between 2015-2018 inclusive. 

Why this matters:

The data shows that there is a difference in GP recruitment between different types of medical schools. Possible reasons include cultural bias, variations in curriculum and availability of role models. Alberti et al. have shown the amount of authentic GP teaching at medical school correlates with FY2 entry into GP training [4]. Further analysis is needed to understand exactly why different medical schools differ in the number of FY2s choosing a career in GP.


Presenting author: Katie Munro; Newcastle University (katie.munro@newcastle.ac.uk)

Co-author: Hugh Alberti; Newcastle University (hugh.alberti@newcastle.ac.uk)



  1. https://www.rcgp.org.uk/about-us/news/2019/september/rcgp-calls-for-5000-gps-to-be-trained-a-year-to-meet-workforce-targets.aspx
  2. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/general-and-personal-medical-services/final-30-september-2019
  3. https://foundationprogramme.nhs.uk/resources/reports/
  4. Alberti et al. doi:10.3399/bjgp17X689881