PMID: 1983927Jan 1, 1991Paper

Medical student attitudes about internal medicine: a study of U.S. medical school seniors in 1988

Annals of Internal Medicine
D BabbottC D Killian


To determine the attitudes of medical students toward careers in internal medicine. Cross-sectional national survey of U.S. medical school seniors. The 10,379 respondents to the 1988 Medical Student Graduation Questionnaire from the Association of American Medical Colleges. Most men and women selecting internal medicine (n = 1931) as well as those switching from earlier preferences for internal medicine (n = 1606) made their final decisions about specialty during the third and fourth years of medical school. Almost 50% of students planning to be internists cited "intellectual content" as the most important factor in their choice of specialty. "Diagnostic challenge" was next most frequently cited. "Type of patient seen" and "role models" were more frequently cited as the most important factors in specialty choice for all other specialties than for internal medicine. Students who switched away from earlier preferences for general internal medicine cited the following most important factors in descending order of frequency: "too demanding of time and effort," "inconsistent with personality," "negative clerkship experiences," "don't like the type of patient," and "specialty chosen more fulfilling." The same five factors, in a diffe...Continue Reading


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