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Afrimedic Journal

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House Officers' Choice of Specialty in Nnewi, South East, Nigeria

AI Ugezu, VI Modekwe

Abstract


Background: The choice of area of specialization made by young doctors today will determine available specialist manpower in medical practice in Nigeria in the near future. It is a pointer to whether seeking of medical care abroad will be arrested or not.
Aim: This study aims to identify factors that affect the choice of house-officers in the area of medical specialization. Their expectations and perception to specialization was also assessed.
Method: This is a cross-sectional survey carried out among house officers in Nnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra State, South east, Nigeria. Pretested structured questionnaires were distributed to all the house officers. Data obtained was manually analyzed.
Result: Seventy-three doctors responded, of which 67(91.8%) had already made their choices. Male to female ratio was 1.15:1. Majority were in their 3rd and 4th decades of life. Obstetrics and gynaecology, 19(28.3%), Paediatrics,19(28.3%) and Surgery16(23.8%) were the highest choices made. Thirty-six (49.3%) respondents had a combined total of 55 references during undergraduate training and 13 respondents made their choices from the area they had references in. Thirty-seven (55.1%) persons and 10(15.0%) persons respectively, submitted that they had good lecturers during undergraduate training in their area of choice and that the courses were less stressful. A role model in the practice, peers, duration of residency training and financial considerations were found not to have affected choice. All respondents agreed that specialization is good for the practice. There were various expectations from specialization.
Conclusion: This study reveals that arole model in the practice, peers, duration of residency training and financial considerations were found not to have affected choice of area of specialization. Effort need to be made to influence choice made by doctors, as consideration is given to personal idiosyncrasies rather than societal needs.

KEYWORDS: Specialty, Choice, House-officers



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