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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 163-168

Factors affecting the future medical specialty and training location selection

1 Department of Otolaryngology, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of General Surgery, King Faisal Medical Complex, Taif, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Taif University, College of Medicine, Taif, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Hemail Mohammed Alsubaie
King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_35_17

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Introduction: Medical specialty selection for senior students and interns in Saudi Arabia is the most important issue during their modules and hospital training. Many factors affect this process, so the primary aim of this study is to assess participants' preferred specialty, location, and other factors influencing their choices. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study involved interns and 6th-year students from the medical schools in Saudi Arabia, conducted from October to November 2015. A self-reported questionnaire assessed baseline characteristics, specialties of interest, location, and psychological aspects of their preferences. Results: A response rate of 25.1% (540 participants) out of 2150 surveyed students and interns. About 70.2% were interns, 52.2% were male, with a mean grade point average of 3.75/5.0, and predominantly from Taif University. Nearly 58.3% were interested in local training programs. The National Guard Hospital was the most desired hospital while Riyadh was the preferred city for training. The preferred medical specialties were internal medicine and pediatrics, yet 5.9% were undecided about their future specialty. The most important factor in choosing a specialty is a student's personal interest while a training program's quality is also a compelling reason for a certain training site. Furthermore, 81.8% of those who chose international training programs preferred North America, those were more likely to have the required qualifications (P = 0.039) and more likely to be interested in academic positions (P = 0.007). Conclusion: Almost 70.2% of the participants are interns, 58.3% are interested in the local training programs, and the most desired specialty is internal medicine. The National Guard Hospital was considered as the best training location. Those selecting international residency programs were more likely to be interested in academic careers.

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