Major Factors Causing Uncertainties in Career Selection Among Medical Students of Gujranwala Medical College
Background: Diverse factors influence the career choice of medical students. This study was carried out to identify career preferences and factors influencing specialty selection among undergraduate medical students of Gujranwala Medical College which has students from multiple cities including Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Faisalabad to name a few. Hence this study will be valuable for the medical education sector because understanding career uncertainty at Gujranwala Medical College will also provide ways of developing better tools and counseling programs to help medical students throughout Pakistan prepare for their future.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among students of Gujranwala medical college. As the sample size for this study was not too large and the targeted audience had close physical proximity, a structured paper questionnaire was used containing multiple-choice questions, dichotomous questions as well as scaling questions with content ranging from their career preferences after MBBS to assessing possible factors that may have influenced their choice of specialty. All information gathered was on a volunteer basis. Anonymity and confidentiality were maintained. The study was approved by the college ethical review committee. A pilot study was done on 20 participants and no discrepancies were found.
Results: Out of 218 students, 85 (36%) were male and 133 (61%) were female. Out of the 85 male students, 74 students were undecided about career preference. Out of the 133 female students, 94 students were undecided about career preference. Regarding factors influencing career choice, year/level of study was proven to have a significant association with career choice (p value-value: 0.001). 2nd Year students reported the highest uncertainty (89%), 4th Year students reported the second-highest uncertainty (85%), 5th Year students reported the lowest uncertainty (51%). Career uncertainty also had a significant association with how often students thought about changing their career (p-value: 0.002). The ones who often or always thought about changing careers reported the highest uncertainty (100%), while the ones who never thought about changing careers reported the lowest uncertainty (57%).
Conclusion: Study The study has shown that a significant number of medical students are uncertain about their career intentions. Year of study, gender, and general satisfaction with the medical field was proven to be major factors in causing such uncertainty about career choice after MBBS. Final year students were most certain about career intentions along with those who never thought about changing careers. While results were consistent with several national and international studies, variability in said results across different studies was also noted.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Kauser Aftab Khan, Mohmmad Talha, Sumair Anwar, Zeeshan Sakhwat, Iqra chaudhry
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