Why are fewer medical students choosing family medicine as a career choice?

Sullivan, Melissa (2006) Why are fewer medical students choosing family medicine as a career choice? Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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There is a downward trend in Canadian medical students choosing family medicine residencies. Through the study of graduating medical students from two different universities located in Atlantic Canada, but with a wide variance in the proportion of their students choosing family medicine the researcher aimed to satisfy the following objectives: (1) to determine the factors that had the greatest predictive value in influencing medical students to choose family medicine as a career choice during the 2005 CaRMS match; (2) to learn why students who had once considered a career in family medicine later chose a specialty as a residency; (3) to establish if there were significant differences in the opinions of those who selected family medicine and those who selected a specialty as a first choice for residency; and ( 4) to conclude if institutional factors played a decisive role in the medical career decision making process of the students. -- Of the 137 medical students who were eligible for participation in the study, a total of 68 students completed the survey, which resulted in a combined response rate of 49.64%. A variety of statistical tests were used to examine the factors associated with choosing (or not choosing) family medicine. A career choice of family medicine was shown to be attributed to a mentor before medical school and placed a stronger weight on workload predictability. They were also inclined to be less concerned about earning potential, intellectual stimulation/ challenge and the ability to work in a hospital environment. Six themes emerged within the data with respect to the reasons why those who chose a specialty did not choose family medicine: lifestyle (better, free-time, do not want office obligations; greater income); negativity surrounding profession (lack of respect by other physicians), patients served (did not want to refer patients, time spent with patients), research (greater opportunities for research). Recommendations regarding the recruitment of students toward family medicine are given and future research directions discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11493
Item ID: 11493
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 73-79.
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 2006
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Family medicine--Vocational guidance--Atlantic Provinces; Physicians (General practice)--Atlantic Provinces.
Medical Subject Heading: Family Practice--Atlantic Provinces; Physicians--Atlantic Provinces; Career Choice--Atlantic Provinces.

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