Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Emerg Med. 2018 Mar 7;11(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s12245-018-0174-y.

Factors influencing medical students' choice of emergency medicine as a career specialty-a descriptive study of Saudi medical students.

Author information

College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Ministry of National guard health affairs, P.O Box 86871, Riyadh, 11632, Saudi Arabia.



Choosing a medical specialty is a poorly understood process. Although studies conducted around the world have attempted to identify the factors that affect medical students' choice of specialty, data is scarce on the factors that influence the choice of specialty of Saudi Arabian medical students, in particular those planning a career in emergency medicine (EM). In this study, we investigated whether Saudi medical students choosing EM are influenced by different factors to those choosing other specialties.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAUHS), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The questionnaire distributed among all undergraduate and postgraduate medical students of both sexes in the second and third phases (57% were males and 43% were females).


A total of 436 students answered the questionnaire, a response rate of 53.4%. EM group was most influenced by hospital orientation and lifestyle and least influenced by social orientation and prestige provided by their specialty. Unlike controllable lifestyle (CL) group and primary care (PC) group, EM reported lesser influence of social orientation on their career choice. When compared with students primarily interested in the surgical subspecialties (SS), EM group were less likely to report prestige as an important influence. Moreover, students interested in SS reported a leaser influence of medical lifestyle in comparison to EM group. When compared with CL group, EM group reported more interest in medical lifestyle.


We found that students primarily interested in EM had different values and career expectations to other specialty groups. The trends in specialty choice should be appraised to meet future needs.


Emergency medicine; Future career; Medical education; Saudi Arabia

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center