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Med Teach. 2005 Dec;27(8):709-14.

Students' conceptions of the medical profession; an interview study.

Author information

1
University Medical Center Utrecht, School of Medical Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Students' beliefs and attitudes towards the medical profession have been studied in relation to career choices, but most research has been restricted to either predetermined aspects or to a limited number of specialties. This study aimed at getting unprompted insight in the students' perceptions of their future profession in dimensions that may be determinants of study success and career choice. Undergraduate and graduated medical students were interviewed and asked to characterize the medical profession in general and four contrasting specialties in particular. Grounded Theory methodology was used to analyse the data. Participants were medical students at the start of their training (n = 16), during clerkships (n = 10) and after graduation (n = 37). Beginning students perceive the medical profession in limited dimensions: the activities of a physician, their relationship to patients and the physician's knowledge, skills and personality. They do not see many differences between specialties, in contrast with students with clinical experience and graduate students. Undergraduate students' perception is focussed more on social aspects of the profession compared to graduates.

PMID:
16451892
DOI:
10.1080/01421590500271159
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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