Session Type: ACR Poster Session A
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Based on data from the Rheumatology Workforce Study, there are insufficient rheumatologists to serve the needs of the population. Little is currently known about factors that contribute to career choices of graduating medical students. The purpose of this study was to investigate medical student interest in rheumatology at the time of graduation, and to assess factors which drive career choices.
This prospective survey study was IRB approved and conducted at a single center. A web-based REDCap survey was sent to graduating medical students via listserv approximately 1 month prior to graduation. Students self-reported demographics, information on whether and when they decided on their career specialty, how likely they were to consider a career in rheumatology, and what factors appealed to them about rheumatology as a specialty.
From the graduating class of 208 students, 52 matched into internal medicine or pediatrics. The survey was completed by 28 students (response rate 13.5%). Respondents were 64% female and 36% male; 57% Caucasian and 28% of African American descent. All respondents reported that they had decided on a specialty at the time of survey completion, with 78.5% reporting that they decided during their third or fourth year of medical school. While only one respondent reported planning a career in rheumatology, factors which appealed to the students about rheumatology as a specialty included: favorable work hours (78.5%), work-life balance (78.5%) and interest in complex medical care (54%). Of the experiences that stimulated their interest in rheumatology as a specialty, the most frequent response was the exposure to rheumatology teaching during their second year musculoskeletal block (36%). Interest in a specialty was the primary driver of career choice (85.7%) while earning potential, student debt, and length of training did not play a role.
In this survey of medical students at a single US medical school, the majority of respondents decided their specialty during their clinical years. Interest in the specialty was the most important factor that drove career choice for this graduating class. Rheumatology teaching during the second year module was the most frequently reported exposure during which interest in rheumatology as a specialty was stimulated.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Berger P, Berhanu A, Jones D, McNish S, Shanmugam VK. Medical Student Interest in Rheumatology As a Career [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017; 69 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/medical-student-interest-in-rheumatology-as-a-career/. Accessed September 25, 2021.
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