Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Factors Involved in Medical Students Choosing Pediatrics as a Career

Dominick DeBlasio, MD, MEd
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Objective: To determine the major factors involved in medical students choosing pediatrics as a career

Methods: A qualitative research study was performed with11 graduating medical students from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine who had previously matched into categorical pediatric residency positions. Semi-structured individual interviews with graduates were conducted between April and June 2014. All interviews were transcribed and coded to identify major themes using a grounded theory approach.
Results: The major themes identified in choosing pediatrics for a career were: 1) a fondness of working with children and a dislike of working with adults, 2) positive role models encountered in pediatrics, 3) lifestyle in pediatrics, 4) positive atmosphere and colleagues and 5) education received during pediatric experiences. No students mentioned gender, compensation, clerkship grades or order of clerkship rotations as a contributing factor in their decisions.
Conclusion: Medical students choosing pediatrics appear to be influenced by the patient population, education, lifestyle, atmosphere and role models encountered in in their experiences. These findings can be utilized to help guide recruitment of future pediatricians from medical school classes.