Factors that influence career choice in primary care among medical students starting social service in Honduras
Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
To 1) describe patterns of specialty choice; 2) investigate relationships between career selection and selected demographic indicators; and 3) identify salary perception, factors that influence career choice in primary care, and factors that influence desired location of future medical practice. The study used a mixed-methods approach that included a cross-sectional questionnaire survey applied to 234 last-year medical students in Honduras (September 2014), and semi-structured interviews with
... d interviews with eight key informants (October 2014). Statistical analysis included chi-square and factor analysis. An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine significance. In the qualitative analysis, several codes were associated with each other, and five major themes emerged. Primary care careers were the preferred choice for 8.1% of students, who preferred urban settings for future practice location. The perceived salary of specialties other than primary care was significantly higher than those of general practitioners, family practitioners, and pediatricians (P < 0.001). Participants considered "making a difference," income, teaching, prestige, and challenging work the most important factors influencing career choice. Practice in ambulatory settings was significantly associated with a preference for primary care specialties (P = < 0.05). Logistic regression analysis found that factors related to patient-based care were statistically significant for selecting primary care (P = 0.006). The qualitative analysis further endorsed the survey findings, identifying additional factors that influence career choice (future work option; availability of residency positions; and social factors, including violence). Rationales behind preference of a specialty appeared to be based on a combination of ambition and prestige, and on personal and altruistic considerations. Most factors that influence primary care career choice are similar to those found in the literature. There are several factors distinctive to medical students in Honduras-most of them barriers to primary care career choice.