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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


PADILLA-CUADRA, Juan Ignacio; VINDAS-SANCHEZ, Leonel  and  VILLALOBOS-PEREZ, Alfonso. Decision to Study Medicine: Determinants and Specialty Choice. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2012, vol.54, n.2, pp.109-113. ISSN 0001-6002.

Introduction: The decision to study Medicine as a career depends on many factors, including intrinsic (personal) and extrinsic ones to the individual. To be aware of these factors could be useful for curriculum development and student counseling. Therefore, the study was proposed to identify the key factors taken into account to make this decision, intention of specialization and the main areas chosen.   Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive research based on a survey applied to a sample of 84 active medical students of a private university (Universidad de Iberoamerica, UNIBE).   Results: The survey was applied to 84 students, 28.6 % were male and 71.4 % were female. 39.5 % reported to have physicians as relatives. The main reason to study Medicine was self-conviction without outside influence and motivation due to humanitarian issues. Most of them chose to study this career between 16 and 20 years old. 91.6% of the subjects surveyed has the intention to follow a specialty. The main choices for specialization were Internal Medicine and its specialties; followed by surgery and its related branches.   Conclusion: The study determined an important predominance of females. The main motives to study Medicine and follow a specialization are humanitarian and altruistic ones. The areas with the highest demand are Internal Medicine and Surgery. This information might be useful for decision making on undergraduate curriculum management and for planning postgraduate specialization programs.

Keywords : Decision; Medicine programs; factors; specialty.

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