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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 308-311

Determining factors for the choice of medical career among the final year medical students of a private university in Nigeria

1 Department of Surgery,Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti; Department of Surgery, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Abiodun Idowu Okunlola
Department of Surgery, Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti; Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_79_20

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Background: Medical education worldwide is more expensive compared to other university courses due to the structure of the training into two phases: basic medical sciences and clinical sciences, each with extensive syllabuses and involves an array of professionals in various specialties. The burden of medical education was largely borne by the government in Nigeria until recently when the private sector forayed into the provision of tertiary education including medical education. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional survey study. All 94 final year medical students of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, a private sector-owned university in South Western Nigeria, were invited to participate in the study. The institutional ethical approval was sought and obtained (ERC/2020/04/07/364A). Structured self-administered questionnaires were used to collect relevant data. Participation in the study was voluntary and confidential. The data obtained were analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Results: Eighty-three (88%) final year medical students participated and returned completed questionnaires out of 94 students. Further analyses were on the number of the respondents (n = 83). Fifty-seven (68.7%) of the respondents were female, whereas 26 (31.3%) of the respondents were male. The mean standard deviation age was 23 (1.6) years, and the age ranges between 20 and 30 years. Parental influence and personal interest were the two most important factors that influenced the decisions for medical education. Fifty-seven (68.7%) of the respondents prefer to practice outside Nigeria, 25 (30.1%) respondents will like to practice in Nigeria but in urban areas, whereas only 1 (1.2%) of the respondents will prefer to practice in a rural area. Conclusion: The choice of medical education and future specialty is multifactorial but the most important factors are personal interest and parental influence. The choice of where to practice is mostly determined during the undergraduate program, and it tends toward continuous emigration of doctors to developed countries.

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