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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2011 Feb;136(6):253-7. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1272520. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

[Aspirations of medical students: "planning for a secure career" - results of an online-survey among students at five medical schools in Germany].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Abteilung Allgemeinmedizin und Versorgungsforschung, Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg, Heidelberg.



In times of shortage of doctors, expectations and interests of the future generation of doctors towards their career aspiration is of major importance. The aim of this study was to analyze expectations of medical students at the five medical schools in the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) concerning their career choice and factors influencing it.


Between January and February 2010, 1299 medical students (out of 12 062 medical students at the five medical schools) participated in an online-survey. In addition to sociodemographic items, career choice and aspects of planning reliability were raised.


Three quarters of the students assign a medical profession for their future occupation. There is a dominance of internal medicine (n = 152), gynaecology (n = 127), paediatrics (n = 125), surgery (n = 115), anaesthesiology (n = 101), and family medicine (n = 88). The time point of decision varies between the different undergraduate years of medical school and specialty. Students at the beginning of their studies seem to be interested mostly in surgery. During medical school the interests towards internal medicine grows. Regarding planning dependability important aspects for medical students were to work in a job that has a future (61.2 % fully agree), to have a safe job (57.7 %), and to have a safe income (57.1 %). Less important seems to be to have good opportunity to earn money (29.6 %).


Interest in a certain specialty changes markedly at during medical school. Factors such as economical guarantee, good future prospects and also the studies itself have an essential impact for students on choosing a specific career. Strategies to face physicians' shortage in different specialties need to be close to the needs and expectations of future physicians. This is not only valid for the undergraduate time period but also for the work circumstances of their future.

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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