Correlations of knowledge and preference of medical students for a specialty career: a case-study of youth health care

Soethout, Marc B. M.; ten Cate, Olle T. J.; van der Wal, Gerrit
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p14
Academic Journal
Background: Medical students develop interest in a specialty career during medical school based on knowledge and clinical experience of different specialties. How valid this knowledge is and how this knowledge relates to the development of preference for a specialty is not known. We studied their "subjective" knowledge of a specialty (students' reported knowledge) with "objective" knowledge of it (students actual knowledge as compared to reports of specialists) and their preference for this specialty at different stages of education, and used youth health care as a case study. Methods: Students from all years in two medical schools (N = 2928) were asked to complete a written questionnaire including (a) a statement of their knowledge of youth health care (YHC) ("subjective knowledge"), (b) their preference for a YHC career and (c) a list of 47 characteristics of medical practice with the request to rate their applicability to YHC. A second questionnaire containing the same 47 characteristics were presented to 20 practicing youth health physicians with the request to rate the applicability to their own profession. This profile was compared to the profiles generated by individual student's answers, resulting in what we called "objective knowledge." Results: Correlation studies showed that "subjective knowledge" was not related to "objective knowledge" of the YHC profession (r = 0.05), but significantly to career preference for this field (r = 0.29, P < 0.01). Preference for a YHC career hardly correlated with objective knowledge about this profession (r = 0.11, P < 0.05). Students with YHC clerkships showed no better "objective knowledge" about the profession than students without such experience. Conclusion: Career preference aren't always related to prior experiences, or to actual knowledge of the area. This study shows how careful we should be to trust students' opinions and preferences about specialties; they probably need much guidance in career choice.


Related Articles

  • Making use of an existing questionnaire to measure patient-centred attitudes in undergraduate medical students: A case study. Archer, E.; Bezuidenhout, J.; Kidd, M.; van Heerden, B. B. // African Journal of Health Professions Education;Oct2014, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p150 

    Background. Patient-centred care is widely acknowledged as important to achieve improved patient outcomes in healthcare. Therefore, it is vital that medical schools should foster this attitude in their students. Studies report that students are becoming less patient-centred in the period between...

  • Smoking behaviour in medical students. LESTER, EVA // British Medical Journal;12/31/1977, p1630 

    The article focuses on a survey of the smoking habits of preclinical and clinical students at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine in London, England in October 1976. The questionnaire sent to 475 students were answered by 189 men, 216 women and eight students who failed to state their...

  • When doctors turn newsmakers.  // India Today;1/17/2011, p17 

    This section offers medical news briefs for 2010. The Medical Council of India was disbanded by that nation's president when it was found to have accepted a 20 million rupee bribe for granting accreditation to a Punjabi medical college. According to the "American Medical News," celebrities are...

  • The Department of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Final Thoughts. Fulop, Milford; Scheuer, James // Einstein Journal of Biology & Medicine;2004, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p70 

    Focuses on the changes in the funding of health care and research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Department of Medicine in the U.S. Total mount of the tuition fee of medical students; Responsibility of the school in providing clinical services at hospitals; Challenges of the school in...

  • Tıp Dili ve Türkçe Ãœzerine Öğrenci GörüŞleri. Sevinç, Huseyin Fatih; Karacagil, Mustafa // Erciyes Medical Journal / Erciyes Tip Dergisi;2009, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p250 

    Purpose: This survey is to determine students' opinion about daily problems of the Turkish language and the Medical language at Erciyes University Medical Faculty during 2006-2007 educational term. Material and Methods: Among 1120 students of Erciyes University Medical Faculty, 804 students...

  • Reaching people through medical humanities: An initiative. Gupta, Richa; Singh, Satendra; Kotru, Mrinalini // Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions;Jun2011, Vol. 8, Special section p1 

    The authors comment on introducing medical humanities (MH) to medical schools and institutions in India through a Medical Humanities Group which is a part of the Medical Education Unit of University College of Medical Sciences in India. The MH initiative is aimed at developing the discipline and...

  • Changes in the medical knowledge of candidates for certification. Norcini, John J.; Shea, Judy A.; Benson Jr., John A.; Norcini, J J; Shea, J A; Benson, J A Jr // Annals of Internal Medicine;1/1/91, Vol. 114 Issue 1, p33 

    Purpose: To determine whether the medical knowledge of candidates from different types of medical schools changed between 1983 and 1988.Subjects: Candidates for certification who took the 1983 to 1988 examinations in internal medicine were divided into five groups...

  • EDUCATION. NUTRITION TRAINING IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. Getz, Lindsey // Today's Dietitian;Jul2015, Vol. 17 Issue 7, p16 

    No abstract available.

  • PRIMARY PREVENTION THROUGH THE EYES OF THE STUDENTS AT A MEDICAL UNIVERSITY. Kavaldzhieva, B.; Naidenova, D.; Porojanova, St. // Trakia Journal of Sciences;2010 Supplement 2, Vol. 8, p186 

    Prevention has a great importance for the increase in the effectiveness of healthcare. Our society needs well prepared specialists, convinced in the advantages of prevention to treatment. The objective of the current study is to research the attitudes of medical students towards the issues of...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics