Assessment of junior doctors’ perceptions of difficulty of medical specialty training programs
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The demands placed on medical trainees by the different specialty training programs are important considerations when choosing a medical specialty. To understand these demands, 193 junior doctors completed a web-based survey, and: (a) ranked medical specialties according to perceived level of training difficulty (incorporating entry difficulty, course difficulty, and length of training); (b) nominated their preferred medical specialty; and (c) completed a measure of medical values. To validate the hierarchical ranking of training programs, we tested the association between the difficulty ranking of doctors' own preferred medical specialty and medical values. Ophthalmology, surgery, dermatology, anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine were ranked as the most difficult specialties, and general practice, public health medicine, occupational medicine, medical administration, and rehabilitation medicine as the least difficult. Higher training difficulty specialties were seen as more prestigious and intellectually demanding, whereas lower training difficulty specialties were seen as consistent with lifestyle and service values. Having a hierarchical ranking of perceived difficulty level of medical specialty training programs will assist students and junior doctors when making career decisions, and assist medical workforce planners, educators, and the specialist colleges to formulate strategies to attract potential applicants to fields of medicine where workforce shortages exist.
Journal of Vocational Education & Training
Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Journal of Vocational Education and Training, Volume 64, Issue 2, 2012, pages 199-210. Journal of Vocational Education and Training is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.
Industrial and Organisational Psychology