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Acad Med. 2005 Sep;80(9):791-6.

The influence of controllable lifestyle and sex on the specialty choices of graduating U.S. medical students, 1996-2003.

Author information

1
University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry, 1351 Mt. Hope Avenue, Suite 223, Rochester, NY 14620, USA. erdorsey@yahoo.com

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine whether the preferences of female medical students are sufficient to explain the recent trend of U.S. medical students choosing specialties with controllable lifestyles.

METHOD:

Specialty choice for graduating U.S. medical students by sex was determined from the responses to the Association of American Medical Colleges' 1996-2003 Medical School Graduation Questionnaires. Using earlier research, specialties were classified as having an uncontrollable or controllable lifestyle. Log-linear models were constructed to assess the strength of association among trends in specialty choice, controllable lifestyle, and sex.

RESULTS:

The percentage of women choosing specialties with controllable lifestyles increased from 18% in 1996 to 36% in 2003. For men, the percentage grew from 28% to 45%. The change in preference for controllable lifestyle specialties accounted for a large proportion of the variability in specialty choices for both women and men from 1996-2003 (chi2 for changes common to women and men = 920, 1 df, p < .0001). The difference between women and men in the trend toward controllable lifestyle specialties was small relative to the common changes (chi2 for differences = 12, 1 df, p = .0005).

CONCLUSION:

Controllable lifestyle was strongly associated with the recent trends in specialty choice for both women and men and could not be explained solely by the specialty preferences of women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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