Career Preferences and its influencing factors among medical graduates and undergraduates
Objective: To determine the career preferences of medical students and young doctors and the associated influencing factors.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 267 graduates and undergraduates of various medical institutes and hospitals of Islamabad., selected through convenient non-probability sampling technique. Data was collected through a self-designed pre-tested questionnaire and processed in SPSS software version 20. Comparison was done among male and female students as well as graduates and undergraduates. For categorical variables frequency and percentages were calculated. χ² test was used to find association between influencing factors, career choices and socio demographic variables.
Results: There was significant difference of specialty preferences between males and females (p= 0.017) as the most preferred specialty in males was General Medicine (23.8%) whereas in females it was Gynaecology (21.7%). Graduates and undergraduates also had significant difference in their specialty preference (p=0.008). The students showed overall equally little interest in the subjects such as Anaesthesia, Oncology, Family Medicine, Public Health and Research. Lack of specialists in a particular field was the most common reason for preference of specialty among males. Females were more influenced by advice from family members in pursuing a career as compared to males (p=0.04). Maximum participants (95.5%) thought that there is a need of career counselling in medical field.
Conclusion: It was observed that majority prefer to choose the most established disciplines. Various factors influence the specialty choices of medical students which should be kept in mind to avoid mismatching of the personality with selection of choice.
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