Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 485-490

Specialty choices among graduating medical students in University of Calabar, Nigeria: implications for anesthesia practice

1 Department of Anaesthesia, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
3 Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bassey E Edem
Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7934.145673

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Background Despite its strategic role in health-care delivery, anesthesia does not attract medical manpower in developing countries, more so among medical trainees. This has resulted in an alarming lack of physician anesthetists. This study aims to determine the rate of selection of anesthesia as a specialty choice and factors that influence medical students when choosing specialties. Patients and methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on final-year medical students in the University of Calabar. A semistructured self-administered questionnaire was distributed to a total of 105 final-year students who had undergone their posting in anesthesia. Summarization of data was done using frequencies/proportions and graphs, and significance level was set at P-value less than 0.05. Results The mean age of respondents was 27.2 ± 4.15 years. Of the students, 72 (69%) were male, whereas 33 (31%) were female. Of them, 96 (91%) indicated interest in specializing, 34 (32%) preferred obstetrics and gynecology, 20 (19%) wanted pediatrics, 13 (12%) preferred family medicine and three (3%) preferred anesthesia. Factors that influenced choice of specialty among the graduating students included: personal interests in 85 students (81%), future job opportunities in the field in 66 students (63%) and requirement of specialized skill in 65 students (62%). In all, 46 respondents (44%) reported that their anesthesia posting experience was interesting, whereas 27 respondents (28%) reported it as very educative. The duration of the posting was rated very short by 25 students (24%). Conclusion With less than 5% of the graduating medical students indicating interest in anesthesia specialization, improvement in training facilities and provision of incentives to intending trainees are strongly recommended.

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