Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Ann Vasc Surg. 2013 Feb;27(2):225-31. doi: 10.1016/j.avsg.2012.02.012. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Medical student career survey--vascular surgery awareness initiative.

Author information

  • 1Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine and Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI, USA.



The objectives of this survey were to identify medical students' general knowledge of vascular surgery as a career choice on entrance to medical school, and how student perspectives change during their exposure to clinical disciplines. Furthermore, we sought to determine which factors may influence the choice of a particular career path, and to apply this knowledge to improve the recruitment process of medical students into the specialty of vascular surgery.


A one-time anonymous questionnaire consisting of 21 open and multiple-choice questions was distributed to first- (MS1), second- (MS2), and third-year (MS3) medical students at a large single-campus medical school. Responses were collected and subjected to analysis.


Three hundred thirty-eight medical students responded to the survey (110 MS1, 126 MS2, and 102 MS3). Two hundred thirty-six MS1 and MS2 students had no clinical exposure to vascular surgery. Of 102 MS3 students having completed a general surgery rotation, 38 had exposure to vascular surgery. Of MS1 and MS2 students, 49% would consider vascular surgery. An additional 19% were willing to consider vascular surgery if the length of training was reduced. Twenty-six percent of the clinical students rotated on a vascular surgery service during their clinical general surgery rotation, of which 78% reported a positive experience. Only 26% (10 of 38) still considered vascular surgery as a career at the MS3 level. Thirty-four percent of students would consider vascular surgery if the training was reduced from 7 to 5 years. However, only 5% of MS1 and MS2 (11 of 236) and 9% of MS3 (9 of 102) students were aware of the 0 + 5 training program. As students advanced in medical school, lifestyle (31% MS1 vs. 63% MS3, P < 0.001) and length of training (19% MS1 and 2 vs. 34% MS3, P < 0.001) became a more critical factor in their career choice decision making.


Medical students have minimal knowledge of vascular surgery on entry to medical school; however, many are willing to consider vascular surgery as a career. Lack of exposure in the first 2 years of medical school and lifestyle considerations may be deterrents for students to choosing vascular surgery as a career. To improve the recruitment process, focused education and interaction with preclinical medical students are needed.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk