Working conditions and mental health of general practitioners: forms and determinants of leaving the profession

Project promoter : Sandrine Garcia 


IREDU (porteur de projet) avec Sandrine Garcia, Carine Erard, Jean-François Giret.
CESAER (UMR 1041) : Gilles Laferté, Abdoul Diallo.
PRINTEMPS (UMR 8085) : Agnès Pelage, Christine Hamelin.
CRESPPA (UMR 7217) : Maud Gelly.

Summary : 

Following on from the research carried out on teachers who leave their profession and with an approach in terms of the sociology of professions, the project aims to study the effects of the evolution of the working conditions of GPs’ (general practitioners) on their mental health. Attention will be paid to the difficulties linked to the care of patients from working-class backgrounds, in working-class urban areas and in disadvantaged rural areas (far from urban centres, with a working-class component, faced with problems of ageing). These territorial characteristics make the task of “health education”, which is now entrusted to doctors, more complex but highly dependent on the dispositions and living conditions of the patients themselves. We hypothesise that in these social contexts, GPs’ conditions of practice are particularly exposed to mental health disorders because they are more exposed than elsewhere to the effects of deleterious living conditions (precariousness, unemployment, ageing, etc.) which necessarily influence their conditions of practice. By focusing on exits from the activity or changes in activity modalities (from self-employed to salaried practice), we plan to study territories characterised by strong social inequalities using an ethnographic approach in order to study the conditions of sustainability of the GP profession in these contexts and the resulting consequences in terms of inequalities of access to care.

Possible methodology:

A survey by interviews with doctors undergoing reconversion will be carried out in practice contexts marked by the weakness of social and territorial resources, in Bourgogne France Comté, in the Rhône Alpes region and in Ile de France.


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