The decision to enter a medical specialty: timing and stability.
ABSTRACT The timing and stability of the decision to enter a medical specialty were examined for one class of medical students. Students were asked to predict specialty choices for themselves on six occasions from orientation day in year 1 to January of the senior year. Choices were compared to actual National Residency Matching Programme results. Forty-five per cent predicted their ultimate specialty choice at orientation, and 69% predicted their ultimate choice by the end of the second year. Specialty choices are made early, and are more stable and accurate than the previous literature has suggested. Variations in timing among the specialties are described, and implications for medical education are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction. In 2000, the Dunedin School of Medicine (one of Otago Medical School's 3 clinical schools) introduced 7-week rural placement. A survey of students conducted before attending the placement showed that most students did not perceive faculty to have a positive view of rural health. In 2007, we explored whether students' perceptions had changed. Method. All 5th year medical students at Otago Medical School were surveyed using items from the original study. The perceptions of students in Dunedin were compared with those of students in the other clinical schools (no rural rotation) and with those of students in the original study. Results. In 2007, there was a significantly increased likelihood of students from Dunedin reporting perceptions of positive faculty attitudes towards rural health compared with students from the other two clinical schools and with Dunedin students from the original survey. Conclusion. The results suggest that student perceptions of faculty attitudes in the school towards rural health may be changed following the introduction of a general practice rural placement to its curriculum.08/2014; 2014:124708. DOI:10.1155/2014/124708
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ABSTRACT: Although medical student specialty choices shape the future of the healthcare workforce, factors influencing changes in specialty preference during training remain poorly understood. To explore if medical student distress and empathy predicts changes in students' specialty preference. A total of 858/1321 medical students attending five medical schools responded to surveys in 2006 and 2007. The survey included questions about specialty choice, burnout, depression, quality of life, and empathy. A total of 26% (205/799) changed their specialty preference over 1 year. Depersonalization--an aspect of burnout--was the only distress variable associated with change in specialty preference (OR, odds ratio 0.962 for each 1-point increase in score, p = 0.03). Empathy at baseline and changes in empathy over the course of 1 year did not predict change in specialty preference (all p > 0.05). On multi-variable analysis, being a third year (OR 1.92), being male (OR 1.48), and depersonalization score (OR 0.962 for each point increase) independently predicted a change in specialty preference. Distress and empathy did not independently predict students' losing interest in primary care whereas being a fourth-year student (OR 1.83) and being female (OR 1.83) did. Among those who did have a major change in their specialty preference, distress and empathy did not play a major role.Medical Teacher 02/2012; 34(2):e116-22. DOI:10.3109/0142159X.2012.644830 · 2.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Doctors in different specialities differ in personality, attitudinal and other measures. These differences might be the result of self-selection, or an effect of socialization in undergraduate and postgraduate training or of specialist selection. In two studies we assessed the association between personality and other measures in applicants to medical school, since associations at that stage must reflect self-selection, rather than the effects of training. In study 1, preferences for 11 medical specialities were assessed in 509 medical school applicants being interviewed at University College London Medical School in 1989–1990. A large range of demographic, biographical and personality measures was also obtained in these individuals. Canonical correlation suggested five independent dimensions that linked career preferences with background measures. An exploratory stepwise multiple regression was used to find the most significant predictors for each career speciality and a number of strong patterns emerged, many of which made intuitive sense in terms of conventional stereotypes of doctors in those specialities. Study 2 was a direct a priori test of the significance of the important variables identified in study 1. Five hundred and sixty-three interviewees at UCLSM during 1991–1992 completed identical questionnaires to those used in Study 1 and the validity of the predictors found in Study 1 was assessed by fitting the same regression equations as had previously been identified. For 10 of the 11 careers the variables produced a highly significant prediction of preference. It is concluded that personality differences between doctors in different specialities are in part the result of self-selection, and not just the result of training or selection.Psychology Health and Medicine 10/1996; 1(3):235-248. DOI:10.1080/13548509608402221 · 1.53 Impact Factor