Career choices of final year medical students and interns at King Abdulaziz University: Where does orthopaedics stand?
Abdullah Ashour1, Abdolrahman Ashour2, Mohammed Asiri3, Mohammed Alghamdi4, Amna Jamjoom5, Ahmed Alghamdi6, Ali Chaudhary7
1 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Medical Intern, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
5 Department of Family Medicine, King Fahad Ahmed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Orthopedics, King Fahad Ahmed Forces Hospital, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
7 Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, P. O. 3829, Abdullah Ibn Umaiyah, Unit No. 14, Jeddah 23234
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Background: An extensive variety of medical specialities challenge medical students, owing to the numerous factors in choosing a profession or area of specialisation. Understanding the factors that lead to their choice of speciality is important to address the job market requirements.
Objective: To determine graduating medical students' aptitude in making a career choice from King Abdulaziz University (KAU). To identify the factors affecting their career choices and determine where Orthopedic Surgery stands as a career choice amongst other specialities; and to assess whether trends and perceptions change once the students graduate and are near completing their internship.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst 6th year medical students and medical interns at KAU, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during the period of February to April 2015. A self-administered questionnaire was formulated and converted electronically and sent to the respondents through E-mail. Responses were recorded in Google spreadsheet and data analysis was done using SPSS version 23.
Results: It was found that amongst the 232 respondents, Internal Medicine was the most prevalent speciality chosen by both 6th year students and interns while Orthopaedic sits at the sixth rank. Personal interest was the most important factor in choosing a speciality followed by positive experience during undergraduate elective rotation. Future job opportunity was also a consideration in addition to previous positive clerkship experience along with the desire to serve the community.
Conclusion: The medical students' speciality of choice at KAU did not lean or was not affected by fixed factors, such as their grade point average, level of education or gender. Instead, their choice of speciality was greatly affected by their personal interest which is considered to be subjective by nature.