How and why do French medical students choose the specialty of infectious and tropical diseases? A national cross-sectional study

Nathan Peiffer-Smadja, François-Daniel Ardellier, Pauline Thill, Anne-Lise Beaumont, Gaud Catho, Lindsay Osei, Vincent Dubée, Alexandre Bleibtreu, Adrien Lemaignen, Michaël Thy
2020 BMC Medical Education  
Background Infectious and tropical diseases (ID) physicians are needed now more than ever to tackle existing and emerging global threats. However, in many countries, ID is not recognized as a qualifying specialty. The creation of ID residency in 2017 in France offers the opportunity to know how and why the specialty is chosen by medical students. Methods We first analyzed the choice of specialty of all French medical students in 2017 and 2018 according to their rank at the national exam that
more » ... s medical studies. A web questionnaire was then sent in January 2019 to all ID residents in France (n = 100) to assess the factors influencing their choice of specialty and their career plan. Results We analyzed the choice of 17,087 medical students. ID was the first-chosen specialty with a median national rank of 526/8539, followed by plastic surgery and ophthalmology. The questionnaire was completed by 90% of the French ID residents (n = 100). The most encouraging factors to choose ID were the multi-system approach of the specialty, the importance of diagnostic medicine and having done an internship in ID during medical school. The potential deterrents were the work-life balance, the workload and the salary. Conclusions The recent recognition of ID as a qualifying specialty in France can be considered a success insofar as the specialty is the most popular among all medical and surgical specialties. Individuals who choose ID are attracted by the intellectual stimulation of the specialty but express concerns about the working conditions and salaries.
doi:10.1186/s12909-020-02317-9 pmid:33129325 fatcat:4d5bt5qzzjeddddpgdhvrteszi