|Year : 2023 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 160-163
Future career aspiration and specialty choices among undergraduate medical students of a medical college in Jammu and Kashmir, India – A cross-sectional study
Ghulam Mustafa Kataria
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, India
|Date of Submission||25-Dec-2022|
|Date of Decision||06-Feb-2023|
|Date of Acceptance||24-Feb-2023|
|Date of Web Publication||18-Apr-2023|
Ghulam Mustafa Kataria
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Rajouri - 185 131, Jammu and Kashmir
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Background: Medical education requires an undergraduate medical student to study a wide range of medical specialties. The number of postgraduation specialties as well as carrier options after graduation has increased in recent years. Hence, we sought to identify the postgraduation specialty choices, factors influencing these choices, and future carrier aspirations.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study. Pretested self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS IBM software version 20.
Results: Majority were in the age group of above 20. Nearly 16.6% of the students' fathers and 5.9% of the students' mothers were having professional education. About 47.6% prefer medicine or its allied specialty subjects. About 43.4% wanted a job in the public sector and 30.8% wanted to adopt the private sector.
Conclusion: Postgraduate specialty choices are still traditional with the majority preferring clinical subjects and wanted to settle in an urban area with a public sector job.
Keywords: Carrier aspiration, specialty choices, undergraduate
|How to cite this article:|
Kataria GM. Future career aspiration and specialty choices among undergraduate medical students of a medical college in Jammu and Kashmir, India – A cross-sectional study. MRIMS J Health Sci 2023;11:160-3
|How to cite this URL:|
Kataria GM. Future career aspiration and specialty choices among undergraduate medical students of a medical college in Jammu and Kashmir, India – A cross-sectional study. MRIMS J Health Sci [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 May 27];11:160-3. Available from: http://www.mrimsjournal.com/text.asp?2023/11/2/160/374277
| Introduction|| |
The medical profession due to its prestige and financially secure career often attracts some of the most talented and intelligent minds. Doctors act as an agent for expressing scientific knowledge and bridging the gap between science and society.
In recent times, the medical profession appears to be undergoing profound changes. An analysis of Harvard Business School physician graduates has shown a substantial increase in the number of physicians pursuing MBA degrees in the last decade. This growth indicates that future health-care professionals are more likely to focus their education on business and administration than even before.
The demographics of medical professionals have also shifted. Women currently make up the majority of health-care professionals in certain specialties, especially in the western world.
In India, a medical graduate often faces tough situations while choosing his or her future career/specialty. This problem becomes more complex due to less postgraduate seats in Indian medical colleges. A previous study has shown that majority (95.4%) of medical graduates were willing to pursue their postgraduation. Postgraduation is considered an essential step in career progression and students have to face tough competition while choosing their dream specialty. Globally, the preferred specialty for men is surgery and for women are obstetrics and gynecology.
With the change in socioeconomic conditions in India and growing number of medical specialties, it is essential to know the career aspirations of medical undergraduates. What motivates these students to choose a particular specialty over others? It can also help in understanding the requirement to bring about a balance in the workforce among various specialties. Preclinical and clinical periods in medical colleges can also be used to influence specialty preferences.
In this background, we conducted a survey on undergraduate medical students of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences Srinagar, India, with the objectives to study postgraduate specialty choices, the reason for choosing a particular specialty, and the future career aspiration.
| Methodology|| |
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among undergraduate medical students of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, India. The duration of the study was 1 month (January 2022). Nonprobability purposive sampling method was used for the collection of the sample. Students who were in their mid-course of MBBS were enrolled in the study. A total of 200 students were asked to fill out a pretested, self-administered questionnaire; out of them, 168 students gave consent to fill out the questionnaire. List of questionnaire was prepared after comprehensive review of relevant topics in the literature., Questions were related to sociodemographic variables, future aspiration, specialty choice, and reason for choosing particular specialty. Data were collected using Google Forms and later analyzed by IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 20.0. Armonk, NY:IBM Corp. There was no intervention tried in this study; however, written informed consent was obtained from study participants. Privacy of study participants was maintained during the study.
| Results|| |
[Table 1] depicts the sociodemographic profile of the study participants. Majority were in the age group of above 20. Male participants were 50.5% and the rest were females. About 89.2% were Muslim by religion. About 67.8% of participants were from urban and the rest were from rural backgrounds. Nearly 16.6% of the students' fathers and 5.9% of the student's mothers were having professional education. About 37.5% of the student's fathers and 27.3% of the student's mothers were government employees.
[Table 2] shows that 93.4% of the participants were willing to pursue postgraduation studies. Majority (47.6%) prefer medicine or its allied specialty subjects, 17.8% in surgery or its allied specialty, 13.6% were undecided but want to pursue postgraduation in clinical specialty, and 10.7% not yet decided. Only 1.7% prefer community medicine/public health specialty.
|Table 2: Distribution of the study participants according to the preference of postgraduation (n=168)|
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[Table 3] shows the various reasons for choosing a particular medical specialty/subject of postgraduation. Interest for the subject was the major (73.2%) reason.
|Table 3: Distribution of study participants according to the reason for choosing a particular specialty/subject for postgraduation (n=168)|
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[Table 4] depicts that the majority (80%) wanted to settle in urban areas. Nearly 14.2% wanted to go abroad for higher study. About 25% of them wanted to perform research-related jobs. About 43.4% wanted a job in the public sector, and 30.8% wanted to adopt the private sector.
|Table 4: Distribution of study participants according to future aspiration/plan and place of work (n=168)|
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[Table 5] shows that majority (77.9%) had passion as a reason for the future carrier, 11.9% are choosing a particular carrier due to job security, and 20.2% had a childhood dream for a specific carrier.
|Table 5: Distribution of study participants according to reason for future plan/aspiration (n¨)|
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| Discussion|| |
Future carrier aspirations and choice of subject for postgraduation were explored among 168 students of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Srinagar, India. Majority (93.4%) were willing to pursue their postgraduation. Passion for the subject was the major reason for choosing a particular specialty. The willingness of medical students to pursue their postgraduation in our study (93.4%) was almost similar to an earlier study conducted by Sarkar et al. among medical students of a medical college in Kolkata. Majority (47.6%) wanted to do their postgraduation in medicine and allied specialties in our study. Only 1.7% wanted to do their postgraduation in community medicine/public health. The choice of postgraduation specialty in our specialty was almost similar to the earlier studies conducted by Laishram et al. in Imphal and Sarkar et al. in Kolkata., Same was also noticed in a study conducted in Turkey. Khader et al. found that the most preferred specialty expressed by male students was surgery, followed by internal medicine and the specialty of choice for female students was obstetrics and gynecology. The most common reason (73.2%) for choosing a particular specialty was the interest of the student in that particular specialty. In a recent study conducted by Kuteesa et al. found that the most common reason of specialty preference was an assurance of good life through better financial remuneration and inspirational specialists. The findings were different from our study. Further research is needed to explore more factors that are influencing specialty choices. Majority wanted to work in urban areas. Similar result was found by Sarkar et al. About 43.4% of our study were willing to work in the public sector. Raha et al. and Lal et al. found that the majority of the study participants were willing to work in the private sector., These findings were contrary to our study. This can be attributed to less job opportunities in the private sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
Limitation of the study
Small sample size and unicentric study may limit the external generalizability.
| Conclusion|| |
It is thus concluded that the choice of postgraduate specialty is still traditional with the majority preferring clinical subjects and wanted to settle in urban areas with a public sector job. Proper counseling and motivation are required to orient students toward nonclinical specialties. Government should provide extra incentives for those joining nonclinical specialties and those wanted to settle in rural areas. This will help in balancing the workforce across various specialties and between rural and urban areas.
We would like to thank faculty members and residents of the department for their support in the study.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]