Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Medical specialties are expertise in the fields of medicine that cause public expectations and better quality of life of the patients. However, training in each field of medical specialty is an odyssey. Success in the practice of a specialist depends on several factors such as interest in the field of specialty, personality and psychological background of the trainee. Objective : To study interest in medical specialties personalities and correlated factors in choosing future training of the sixth year medical students of the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University. Design : A cross – sectional descriptive study. Setting : The Faculty of Medicine, Chulalonghorn University. Materials and Methods : In total, 159 medical students of the sixth year of the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, were recruited from October to December 2009. All subjects completed four questionnaires as follows: 1) demographic data and history form; 2) student study profile and work interest after graduate form; 3) social factor opinion form; 4) sixteen personality factor questionnaire (16PF). The analytical statistics are expressed in terms of means, percentage, standard deviations: the statistical methods used are chi-square test and Mann Whitney U- test. Results : From the responses of the 159 medical students of the sixth year, they showed interest in each field of medical specialties. The first two most common specialties were Internal Medicine (33.3%) and Surgery (12.6%). In general, the personality of most subjects were rather reserved, fast in learning new things, skillful in abstract thinking, considerative, determined, and practical. They were also endowed with social skills, liberal mindedness and self-dependence attitude. The personal factors that determined their interest in choosing their field of training are: their academic performance from their pre-clinical and clinical years. These are related with their choices with statistical significance (P >.01). The results the study of personality factors and interest in medical specialties found that the subjects who selected to study in each field have different characters of personality with statistical significance P <.05 Those who were interested in Pediatrics had high moral standard, and high self control, those who were interested in Internal Medicine had social skills, dynamicity in human relationship, ambition and creativity; those who were interested in Obstetrics and Gynecology were peaceful, relaxed, nonimpulsive and easy with life; those who were interested in Psychiatry showed self-dependence, preference in self-judgment and self-regulation; those who were interested in Orthopedics showed assertiveness, self-confidence and competitiveness; and those who were interested in Ear-Eye-Nose- Throat were rather easy going, talkative and enthusiastic, Generally, each field of medical specialty attracts different distinctive personality. Conclusion : In summary, it was found that the majority of the sixth year medical students showed their interest in choosing medical specialties for their future training. The factors that determine their preference are, namely: personality factors, outcomes of their performance in the pre-clinical and clinical years which included their acquired clinical skills, Besides, personality factors played a major role in the choice of their preferred specialty.



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