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J Family Community Med. 2019 Sep-Dec;26(3):221-226. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_39_19.

Attitude of medical students at King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences toward family medicine as a future specialty.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
2
Research Office, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
3
Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Owing to the rising population of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the need for family physicians is growing. The number of family physicians who would be available in the health service in future is dependent on the attitudes of medical students because their choice of specialty is a major factor in satisfying this demand. The aim of the study was to evaluate the attitudes of medical students to family medicine as a future career.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

This cross-sectional study was conducted at King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. A total of 308 students were randomly selected from problem-based learning groups. Data were collected using a 25-item validated questionnaire, and Excel and SPSS were used for data entry and analysis. Mean and standard deviation were used to describe numerical data and frequencies and percentages to describe categorical data. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

RESULTS:

A total of 308 medical students, 201 (65.3%) of whom were male, completed the questionnaire. Majority of the students (229 [74.3%]) agreed that family physicians make important contributions to medicine although family medicine was one of the least preferred specialties of the students.

CONCLUSIONS:

Most students were aware of the importance of family medicine; however, only a few of them chose this specialty. Further studies should be conducted to identify the factors that influence medical students' decisions in their choice of family medicine as a future career.

KEYWORDS:

Attitude; family medicine; future specialty; medical student

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