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Int J Med Educ. 2018 Dec 27;9:332-339. doi: 10.5116/ijme.5c14.de75.

Factors affecting senior medical students' career choice.

Author information

1
Central Board for Specialty training for Elderly Care Medicine in the Netherlands (SOON), Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2
University Medical Center Utrecht, Medical School, The Netherlands.
3
Royal Dutch Medical Association, The Netherlands.
4
Dutch Association of Public Health Physicians (VAV), The Netherlands.
5
University Medical Center Utrecht, Center for Research and Development of Education, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Objectives:

To gain insight into factors affecting career preference and career choice during the final phase of medical school, above and beyond a model that was presented by Bland and colleagues in 1995 (the "Bland model").

Methods:

A qualitative study was conducted. One-hour semi-structured interviews were conducted with final-year medical students about career preference and the factors influencing preference and choice. The interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis was applied, to identify patterns and interrelationships in the data and to compare and contrast these with the Bland model.

Results:

Twenty-four students participated. Three critical sets of factors, not present in the Bland model, emerged from the interviews: (a) factors arising from student-initiated information collection, (b) patient population characteristics of a specialty domain, and (c) the characteristics of teams and colleagues within a specialty.

Conclusions:

Students appear to actively match and calibrate perceptions of different specialty characteristics with their current personal needs and expected future needs, and to include cues from self-initiated information collection about a speciality. This agency aligns with Billett's workplace learning theory. Next, specialty patient population features appear to be taken into account; this was not unexpected but not included in the Bland model. Finally, the characteristics of teams and colleagues of a specialty were stressed in the interviews. These three components broaden the applicability of the Bland model--originally created for primary-care careers--to medical specialties in general.

KEYWORDS:

career preference; medical students; qualitative interview study; specialty choice

PMID:
30594907
DOI:
10.5116/ijme.5c14.de75
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