Medical student interest in academic medical careers: a multi-institutional study

Ruth B. Greenberg, Craig H. Ziegler, Nicole J. Borges, Carol L. Elam, Terry D. Stratton, Sheila Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Little is known about how medical students view academic medicine. This multi-institutional study explored student perceptions of this career path. During 2009–2010, third- and fourth-year students at three United States medical schools completed a 30-item online survey. In total, 239 students completed the questionnaire (37 % response rate). Significant predictors of students’ desires for academic medical careers included interest in teaching (γ = 0.74), research (γ = 0.53), interprofessional practice (γ = 0.34), administration (γ = 0.27), and community service opportunities (γ = 0.16). A positive correlation existed between accumulated debt and interest in academic medicine (γ = 0.20). Student descriptions of the least and most appealing aspects of academic medicine were classified into five categories: professional, research, personal, teaching and mentoring, and patients/patient care. Students are more likely to be interested in a career in academic medicine if they have participated in research or were influenced by a mentor. Factors that may also influence a medical student’s decision to pursue a career in academic medicine include age and debt accumulated prior to medical school. Professional aspects of academic medicine (cutting edge environment, resources) and the opportunity to teach were the most appealing aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-316
Number of pages19
JournalPerspectives on Medical Education
Volume2
Issue number5-6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Academic medicine
  • Career
  • Medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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