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Am Surg. 2003 Jan;69(1):53-5.

Two decades of student career choice at the University of Florida: increasingly a lifestyle decision.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida 32610-0286, USA.

Abstract

Recently, there has been a decrease in the number of graduating U.S. medical students entering surgical residency. Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine student career choice over the last two decades (1982-2002) at the University of Florida. Residency match and academic performance data for the University of Florida medical school graduates from 1982 through 2002 were obtained from the College of Medicine's Offices of Student Affairs and Education. The percentage of medical students pursuing a career in surgery rose slightly in the 1980s to peak at 22 per cent of the graduating class in 1991 and then steadily declined in the 1990s to 15 per cent in the graduating class of 2002. The percentage of women entering surgical residency has remained relatively constant (20-year mean = 6.41 +/- 0.77) despite a significant increase percentage of women in the graduating class (Class of 1983, 24%; Class of 2002, 55%). The percentage of graduating students entering a primary care residency has remained relatively constant (54.4 +/- 1.24), whereas the number of students pursuing a "lifestyle-friendly" specialty has increased substantially over the last two decades (Class of 1983, 9%; Class of 2002, 22%). In addition the mean overall grade point average of female students entering 'lifestyle-friendly' specialty residencies is significantly higher than the mean overall grade point average of all students entering a surgical residency (3.61 +/- 0.38 versus 3.48 +/- 0.35; P < 0.05). Similar to national trends the percentage of senior medical students entering surgical residency at the University of Florida is gradually declining. Although the percentage of graduating medical students entering primary care has remained relatively constant the number of students following a lifestyle-friendly specialty has steadily increased. A disproportionately low number of graduating female medical students are entering surgical residency. By one measure of academic performance the quality of female graduates entering lifestyle-friendly specialty residencies is superior to that of students entering surgical residency. Lifestyle issues are increasingly important in student career choice decisions.

PMID:
12575781
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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