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Original Research Paper

Factors affecting the choice of postgraduate specialty among undergraduate medical students: a prospective observational study from India

Authors:

J. Chawla ,

PGIMER & Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, IN
About J.
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
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M. Arora,

Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, IN
About M.
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine
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K. Datta,

Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, IN
About K.
Professor, Department of Physiology
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S. P. Singh,

Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, IN
About S. P.
Undergraduate medical student
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A. Arora

Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim, IN
About A.
Undergraduate medical student
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Abstract

Purpose: National policies on the number and distribution of post graduate seats in medical colleges are based on estimated projections of the quantum need of medical work force in the country in future. In order to attract talent, it is imperative to know what factors, modifiable or non modifiable, affect the choice of specialization.

 

Methods: This is a cross-sectional, observational study. Subjects were undergraduate medical students, at four different phases of their course. They were asked to fill an anonymous feedback form regarding their family and educational background and prospective fields of specialization and placement. Medium of education, interaction with faculty, practices of evaluation and feedback to and from students and use of media in teaching etc were also studied in order to gain an insight into the temporal progression of the thought process of undergraduates.

 

Results: Majority (88.5%) students wanted to study clinical subjects in post graduation. General Medicine and General Surgery were the most coveted specialties. Passion for the subject, monetary gains and how well the subject was taught were the three main bases for the choice of specialty. Majority of students wanted to serve in government sector after study. Work life balance remained the top priority for more than 78% students in their future lives.

 

Conclusion: Clinical branches remain preferred over non clinical specialties and research remains a low priority among students. Introducing innovative methods in teaching pre and paraclinical subjects and making medical teaching a more attractive career prospect can help improve this picture.
How to Cite: Chawla, J., Arora, M., Datta, K., Singh, S.P. and Arora, A., 2018. Factors affecting the choice of postgraduate specialty among undergraduate medical students: a prospective observational study from India. South-East Asian Journal of Medical Education, 12(2), pp.35–44. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/seajme.v12i2.50
Published on 31 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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