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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 141-145

Factors influencing decision of medical students in choosing a surgical specialty: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Surgery, King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Surgery, Jeddah University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hesham Fouad Barradah
Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ssj.ssj_28_18

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Introduction: It has been noticed that the surgical field has been facing shortage in the workforce in many countries. This study aimed to take a closer look on the possible factors influencing medical students' decision in choosing surgical specialty. These factors include the gender, nationality, living conditions, the effect of the mentors during medical school years, and satisfaction with the training programs. We aim to assess different factors that affect the decision-making of medical students in Saudi Arabia when choosing a surgical specialty. Methodology: (a) A cross-sectional study was conducted at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah. Participants were from King Abdulaziz university medical students, from preclinical years (2nd and 3rd), and clinical years (4th, 5th, and 6th). Students from other colleges and universities were excluded from the study. A questionnaire utilizing the fivepoint Likert Scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) was used when asking students about their opinion in choosing a surgical career. Results: A total of 329 medical students completed the questionnaire. Significant demographical differences were found regarding housing and physical training (P = 0.006 and P = 0.004). Fifty-two (15.8%) and 61 (18.2%) participants showed interest in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery, respectively. Females were mostly interested in cardiothoracic surgery (18.9%), with significant difference (P = 0.007). Conclusion: The majority of medical students are willing to pursue a surgical career and most of them believe that overseas have a good surgical training program. Based on our result, we recommend that more lectures, campaigns, and workshops should target medical students to increase their knowledge about these potential factors that could alter their decision when choosing a surgical career.

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