To investigate to what extent a physician's place of graduation is associated with the physician choosing a career as a general practitioner (GP), and identify factors in the curriculum that could predict a general practice career.
Cross-sectional study based on the membership database of the Norwegian Medical Association.
Physicians working in Norway who graduated from four domestic medical schools, five other countries, and three groups of countries. Physicians were categorized according to their main professional activity as GPs, hospital physicians, and researchers.
A total of 2836 medical physicians who were working in Norway during 2010 and graduated from medical school between 2002 and 2005.
Main outcome measures
Percentage and odds ratio for subjects working as a GP in Norway during 2010. Descriptive data for pre-graduate general practice education in Norwegian medical schools were also analysed.
Compared with the University of Oslo, there was a significantly higher proportion of GPs among physicians who had graduated from Denmark (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.9–4.5), Poland (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.4–2.9), Sweden (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.0–3.1), and Trondheim (Norway) (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–2.0). Across the four Norwegian medical schools, there were significant associations between choosing a general practice career and the sum of pre-graduate educational hours regarding general practice, general practice preceptorship, and the number of GP teachers.
The physician's place of graduation appears to be associated with career choice. The universities’ total contribution in pre-graduate general practice education may be associated with future GP career choice.