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A ten per cent sample survey of all general practitioners in England and Wales in 1969-70 included two questions about the choice of practice location. The most common reasons given were the absence of any real alternatives (in the immediate post-war period), the influence of family or friends, the existence of medical contacts in the area, and favourable points about the practice itself.
In considering possible future moves, general practitioners would pay closest attention to the educational facilities of an area, its rural or coastal location, its social and cultural amenities, and the practice conditions. The conclusion is drawn that financial incentives are unlikely to contribute much towards a more equal distribution of general-practitioner manpower. More thought should be given to recruitment to the medical profession in under-doctored areas through the development of the highest professional standards and facilities in such places.