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J Family Community Med. 2006 Sep;13(3):119-23.

Factors affecting the choice of health specialty by medical graduates.

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Directorate General of School Health, Ministry of Education, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


A specialty is the transition from the undifferentiated medical graduate phase to the final, fully-differentiated specialist who is almost restricted to one specialized area of medical work. The medical specialty chosen by the medical practitioner is important for both the practitioner and the society. It is an important determinant of the future supply of doctors in different specialties and the planning of the workforce for the health-care services.Many factors influence specialty choices of the medical student and medical practitioner. These range from individual characteristics to the features of the specialty itself, including specialty-related lifestyle.This article explores factors influencing specialty choices of medical students and young practitioners. The article also suggests some general and practical principles that junior doctors should follow in selecting a specialty to suit their personality bearing in mind the health needs of the society.


Medical graduate; career choice; medical career; medical practitioners; medical specialties


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