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Medical Specialist Preferences and Reasons among Fresh Nigerian Interns

Author(s):

Madu AJ, Ubesie A, Madu KA, Nonyelu C, Ibegbulam OG

Background: Developing countries like face dire shortage of medical manpower due to brain drain. Young doctors intending to specialize usually prefer certain specialties and subâ??specialties to the neglect of others. This creates avoidable gaps in health care delivery. Aim: The aim of the following study is to determine the choices of career and reasons for those choices among young medical doctors. Subjects and Methods: A crossâ??sectional study of fresh interns using a preâ??validated 13 item questionnaire was done at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu Nigeria. Results: A combination of the various surgical specialties was the most common choice made in 29/110 26.4% of the respondents. The top four specific choices were pediatrics 28/110 (25.5%), internal medicine 11/110 (10%), obstetrics and gynecology 10/110 (9.1%) and public health 8/110 (7.3%). The most common factor influencing choice of specialty was interest in 86/109 (78.9%) of the respondents. A higher proportion of males 24/69 (34.8%) compared with females 4/41 (10%) chose a specialty because of brighter prospect (P = 0.01). Conclusion: The most frequently chosen specialties by young interns were a combination of surgical specialties, internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. Interest was the most common reason for choice of specialty although males are significantly influenced by brighter prospects.


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