To investigate the factors influencing choice of ophthalmology as a career in medicine.
Data were extracted from the 2004 National Physician Survey, a questionnaire distributed to all physicians across Canada. Data were categorized by medical discipline, and chi2 comparative analyses were done.
Intellectual stimulation emerged as the most frequently cited factor influencing career choice for ophthalmologists and nonophthalmologists alike (81% and 79%, respectively). Compared with other physicians, ophthalmologists were significantly more likely to cite flexibility (58% vs. 42%, respectively), mentorship (42% vs. 31%, respectively), and earning potential (38% vs. 26%, respectively) as important factors (p<0.001).
Intellectual stimulation is the principal reason physicians pursue a career in ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists cite flexibility, mentorship, and earning potential as important factors more frequently than do physicians of other disciplines.