Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Spain E;Tumelty ME;Hannigan A;Cinnamond K;Cheema A;Cotter A;
Bmc Medical Education
Factors impacting on the decision of graduate entry medical school students to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology in Ireland.
Optional Fields
Challenges in recruiting appropriately trained obstetricians and gynaecologists have been identified across the world. Given well documented staff shortages within obstetrics and gynaecology in Ireland, it is increasingly important to understand the factors which influence medical students to choose or reject a career in the speciality. The aim of this study was to ascertain the perceptions of final year graduate entry medical students of obstetrics and gynaecology, including the factors which may influence a student's decision to pursue in a career in the speciality. Paper-based surveys of graduate entry medical students (n=146) were conducted at the beginning and end of a six week rotation in obstetrics and gynaecology in Ireland. Responses to the surveys pre- and post-rotation were matched and changes in career choices, merits and demerits over time were analysed. All analysis was conducted using SPSS for Windows version 25. The responses of 72 students to both questionnaires could be matched (response rate of 49.3%). No male students expressed an interest in obstetrics, gynaecology or both as a first choice of career in the pre rotation survey. Obstetrics as a first choice of career increased from 6.9% pre rotation to 19.4% post rotation (p=0.04) and this increase was seen in male and female students. Gynaecology as a first choice increased slightly from 1.4 to 4.2% (p=0.50) and the dual speciality increased from 6.9 to 13.9% (p=0.23). Students identified many merits of obstetrics pre-rotation with more than 60% identifying it as exciting, interesting fulfilling and challenging. However, incompatibility with family life was cited as a demerit by 72% of respondents and 68.1% identified fear of litigation as a demerit. Participants were less positive overall about the merits of a career in gynaecology with less than 40% viewing it as exciting, fulfilling, and varied. While respondents were positive about the merits of a career in obstetrics and gynecology, concerns remain about work-life balance, career opportunities, and the high-risk nature of the specialty. These concerns should be addressed by the profession and policy makers if they wish to attract sufficient numbers to address anticipated need in the coming years. Gender differences in speciality choice were also evident. If males are to be recruited into obstetrics and gynaecology, consideration should be given to the positive impact of internship.
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