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J Public Health (Oxf). 2011 Dec;33(4):616-23. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdr067. Epub 2011 Sep 12.

Career choices for public health: cohort studies of graduates from UK medical schools.

Author information

1
Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK. michael.goldacre@dph.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this paper is to describe UK-trained doctors' early intentions about seeking careers in public health and their eventual speciality destinations.

METHODS:

Analysis of longitudinal studies of medical graduates from all UK medical schools in selected year-of-qualification cohorts from 1974 to 2008; data collected by postal questionnaires at various times after qualifying; and selection, for this paper, of doctors who expressed an early preference for a career in public health and/or who eventually practised in it.

RESULTS:

Of all doctors eventually practising in public health, for whom we had early choices, public health had been the unreserved first choice of 8% (10/125) in their first post-qualification year, 27% (33/122) in their third year and 59% (51/86) in their fifth year. Including first choices for public health 'tied' with an equal preference for a different speciality, and doctors' second and third choices for public health, 19% (24/125) of practising public health doctors had considered public health as a possible career in their first post-graduation year, 41% (50/122) in the third and 83% (71/86) in the fifth year.

CONCLUSIONS:

Comparisons with other specialities show that doctors in public health chose their speciality relatively late after qualification.

PMID:
21911418
DOI:
10.1093/pubmed/fdr067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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