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J Gen Intern Med. Mar 1998; 13(3): 200–203.
PMCID: PMC1496924
What Predicts Medical Student Career Choice?
Dale A Newton, MD,1 Martha S Grayson, MD,2 and Theodore W Whitley, PhD1
1East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, NC
2New York Medical College, Valhalla
Address Correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Newton: Dept. of Pediatrics, East Carolina University School of Medicine, 3E139 Brody, Greenville, NC 27858.
The literature on medical student career choice has identified several influences that can be categorized as student demographics, medical school characteristics, students' perceptions of specialty characteristics, and student-held values. A logistic regression model that included demographics, medical school, and student-rated influences as a proxy for perceptions and values was used to determine their relative contribution to student career choice for three consecutive cohorts of senior medical students attending two schools (n = 649). This model identified a positive relation between choice of primary care career and both student-rated influences and one student demographic characteristic, but not between career choice and school attended. Variables positively correlated with primary care career choice were related to working with people and marital status. Negatively correlated variables were related to income and prestige.
Keywords: medical students, career choice, student demographics, student-held values, medical school characteristics
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