By accident or design? An exploration of the career pathways, experiences and identities of academic GPs using composite narratives

Zoë McElhinney (Lead / Corresponding author), Catherine Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

At a time when UK general practice is facing significant challenges and departments of academic general practice in UK universities are in decline, this cross-sectional qualitative case study examines the experiences of general practitioner (GP) academics in a Scottish university department of general practice undergraduate education. The study explores GPs' reasons for entering academic careers, their routes into academic careers and their experiences of balancing clinical and academic work through examining the individual narratives of GP academics. Data were gathered through autobiographical written narrative, individual interviews and an autoethnographic study, and were analysed using a thematic narrative approach. Findings are presented as composite narratives synthesising the predominant experiences of three distinct groups of GPs who entered academia at different stages of their careers.GP academics described limited understanding of academic general practice prior to taking up an academic post. Entry to academic general practice was associated with an interest in teaching and was often prompted by a dissatisfaction with clinical practice. Academic GPs described concerns about career prospects and changing professional identity but valued the scholarship and creativity associated with their academic roles. This study provides insights into the motivations of academic GPs and the factors influencing academic career progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalEducation for Primary Care
Early online date24 Mar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • General Practice
  • academic
  • careers
  • composite narrative
  • identity

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