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Korean J Med Educ. 2019 Mar;31(1):61-71. doi: 10.3946/kjme.2019.119. Epub 2019 Mar 1.

Factors influencing to study medicine: a survey of first-year medical students from India.

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Department of Biochemistry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.



Students joining medical studies may be motivated by many factors. However, there may also be some factors which may concern them. Although, it can be assumed that those joining medical studies would have largely been influenced positively, how the factors interact in different groups of students has not been studied adequately.


We conducted a questionnaire-based survey in first-year medical students. Besides the demographics and intentions about their future career plans, students rated a list of positively influencing items and a list of negatively affecting items relevant to our context that influenced their decision. We performed factor analysis followed by clustering of study participants.


Ninety-seven students participated in the survey which comprised of 59% females with mean age of 18.6 years. The factors extracted were named as 'personal growth factor,' 'professional calling factor,' 'personal concerns factor,' and 'professional concerns factor.' Four distinct clusters of participants differing in their average ratings to each of the above factors were identified.


This study provides information on the factors that influence students to join medical studies from an Indian context. The motivational patterns were varied in different sub-groups of students. The data obtained from this study may provide pointers to educators to plan training of students, changes in curricular structure that takes into account the expansion of medical education into specialties and beyond.


Career choice; Medical students; Medicine; Motivation

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