Career aspirations of a set of new intake students at a Government owned medical school in Lagos, Nigeria
Objective: This study was carried out in order to identify the career aspirations of new intake of medical students in a government-owned school in Lagos Nigeria, the factors influencing their choice of a specialty and reasons behind the choice of a medical career and medical school.
Methods: The study was a cross-sectional descriptive study that made use of a self-administered semi-structured questionnaire to elicit career aspirations of the total population of new intake of medical students in 200 level of study. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Health research and Ethics Committee of Lagos State University Teaching
Hospital. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 19 was used for data analysis.
Results: There was a 95.6% response rate (65/68). Over half of the respondents were in the 20 -29 year age group (53.8%) with a similar proportion of the students being female. A majority of respondents (82.1%) chose to study medicine on account of personal interest or love for the profession and would be willing to continue medical practice after graduation (83.1%). Surgery was the preferred specialty of most respondents (47.3%). The most common motive for choice of specialty was interest in, or love for the specialty (89.1%).
Conclusion: Desire for eventual specialization in one of the fields of medicine was evident at the early stages of the training programme. Counselling about medical specialties should therefore commence very early to provide guidance for new intakes.
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