Factors influencing choice of pediatrics as a career among medical students in Kenyan University
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 450 medical students from the University of Nairobi-Kenya was undertaken with a questionnaire designed to assess their specialty preferences, timing and factors influencing choice of these careers. Data collected was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences.
Results: The response rate was 385/450(85.6%). Pediatrics second most preferred specialty after surgery, and was chosen by 50(12.9%) students. Female students had a five-fold increased likelihood of selecting pediatrics. Pediatric career choice was mainly determined by perceived intellectual challenge, presence of a role model and ease of raising a family. Those who had completed clerkship in the specialty reported to be encouraged by the teaching and clinical staff (p=0.006) but found the specialty less prestigious (p=0.030). While none of the men considered gender distribution in this career, 12(30%) women did (p=0.046).
Conclusion: This study reports that paediatrics is populous among female students and the choice of this specialty is influenced by several factors. Understanding these factors may help medical schools’ administrators and faculty plan for future recruitment strategies.
Philip Maseghe Mwachaka, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Eric Thuo Mbugua, University of Nairobi
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Date published: 2010-10-04
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