Why students are more into medicine while choosing their career these days is largely due to family tradition. Some people follow the legacy of several generations of physicians, while others are under the pressure of parents who did not have the same opportunities and may pressurize their offspring to become doctors. Other reasons may be more complex, but they all share some common themes. In this article, we will explore some of the major motivations behind a student’s decision to choose medicine as their career.
Motives for starting a career in medicine
One of the key challenges in assessing motives to enter the medical profession is defining the right mix of factors. Using a survey of medical students to determine why they want to become doctors, we mapped the different factors that students use to determine why they want to become a doctor. The results of our study are somewhat limited, but we can identify a few themes and draw important conclusions from it.
First of all, most people choose medicine for internal reasons, such as caring about the suffering of others and helping to improve their health. These people often find medical courses to be intellectually stimulating. Their intrinsic motivations are often the most important factors in choosing a career in medicine, and they tend to be more satisfied with their choice of career. This is one reason why these individuals tend to like medical school, as they gain valuable knowledge while helping people in need.
Impact of physician/teacher feedback
While personal characteristics are important, they should not be overemphasized. The focus of my PhD study was the role of personal characteristics. However, I did not ask students about their views in any depth. It seemed more comfortable to focus on students’ personal characteristics. Nonetheless, personal characteristics should not be underestimated, especially as it relates to medical education. There are several reasons why a physician or teacher’s feedback may not have an impact on a student’s choice of career.
Participants were recruited from fourth-year medical classes at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Participants were interviewed in 16 focus groups led by a non-faculty facilitator. The transcripts were coded based on recurring themes and topics. Representative quotations were tracked to understand the themes. Overall, there were 20 recurring themes. The most common themes were:
Impact of subinternships
The Impact of Subinternships on Students’ Decision Making Regarding Medicine
The Subinternship is a unique opportunity for medical students to gain clinical experience in an increasingly demanding environment without full responsibility. In addition, many students select subinternships at institutions where they hope to apply to residency. In this way, the Subinternship is essentially an audition for a residency program outside of medical school. But what makes this experience unique? Here are three reasons why it is valuable for aspiring medical professionals:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of medical school students had new interests in fields other than medicine. Nearly half (48%) of respondents reported that they had developed new interests after the pandemic. Twenty percent of students in third and fourth years reported new interests, while 49 (17.5%) of interns had new interests. The same percentage of students with moderate or weak certainty reported changes in their specialty choices.
Impact of work-life balance
The study revealed that most medical students prioritize family responsibilities and time off. Female students generally view part-time employment as essential to their future well-being, while some male students find it difficult to work full-time. Students with a high value on work-life balance typically choose careers that have flexible working hours, and they negotiate their hours with their parents and partners. The study findings suggest that the need for work-life balance is becoming more prevalent than ever.
The study also found that Australian medical students have a range of attitudes towards work-life balance. For example, they were more interested in pursuing a career in rural areas or developing countries than in metropolitan areas. A few students chose medicine because they wanted to help those in need, but most did not regard it as a career; they saw it as a calling. Students’ responses also indicated a strong commitment to a career in medicine and rejected the stigma of being a “workaholic” and spending long hours in hospitals.
Head office address:
Suite 1803, Al Moosa Tower 2,
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE.
Call for help:
+971 4 355 4850
Mail for information: