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J Educ Eval Health Prof > Epub ahead of print
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2019; 16: 12.
Published online May 15, 2019.
[Epub ahead of print]
Factors influencing the career preferences of medical students and interns: a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey from India
Ruban Anand  , Prakash Somi Sankaran 
Department of Biochemistry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
Correspondence  Prakash Somi Sankaran ,Email:
Editor:  Sun Huh, Hallym University, Korea
Submitted: March 14, 2019  Accepted after revision: May 15, 2019
The study aimed to identify the motivational factors and demographic variables influencing the career preferences of medical students in India.
We conducted a questionnaire-based survey at Christian Medical College, Vellore, India. The participants were 368 of the 460 medical students and interns enrolled at the institution from October 2015 to August 2016. We designed the questionnaire to collect demographic data, students’ preferences for career specialties, and the motivational factors influencing them. Then, we analyzed the influence of these factors and demographic variables on career preferences using regression analysis.
Of the 368 respondents, 356 (96.7%) expressed their intention to pursue a residency program after the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program, and about two-thirds indicated their preference to do so in India. The specialties most preferred by students were general surgery, general medicine (internal medicine), and pediatrics, while the least preferred were anatomy, obstetrics and gynecology, and community medicine. Factor analysis yielded three motivational factors, which we named ‘personal growth,’ ‘professional growth,’ and ‘personal satisfaction’ based on the items loaded in each. The motivational factors were predicted by demographic variables (gender, geographical background, current stage in the MBBS program, and the presence of relatives in the health professions). Demographic variables and the motivational factors also had significant influences on career preferences.
This study provides insights into the motivational factors that influence the career preferences of Indian medical students and interns. A robust longitudinal study would be required to study intra-individual variations in preferences and the persistence of choices.
Keywords: Career choice; India; Graduate medical education; Medical students
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