The attitude of medical students towards otorhinolaryngology
Background: Otorhinolaryngology is under-represented in most undergraduate curricula. This work aims to determine the interest and attitude of medical students towards otorhinolaryngology both as a contribution to medical practice and as a specialty.
Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional study in which validated questionnaires were administered to medical students who have gone through postings in otorhinolaryngology eliciting information regarding demographic data and attitude towards the specialty and postgraduate career choices.
Results: One hundred and fifty six students aged 20 to 34 years (mean=25.4; SD= +/-2.3) were studied (constituting 113 males and 43 females with a male to female ratio of 2.6:1). Seventy-eight (50%) students found otolaryngology interesting as a course with 8 (5.5%) students opting to specialize in it comprising 2 (1.3%) as second career choice and 6 (4.2%) as third career choice while 49 (31.6%) were still undecided. One hundred and nineteen (76.3%) students agreed their postings were beneficial to their training with 68 (43.6%) agreeing the present mode of teaching otorhinolaryngology was adequate.
Conclusion: Medical students find otorhinolaryngology beneficial to their training but would not opt for it as a postgraduate career choice. Efforts should be made to improve the current mode of undergraduate otorhinolaryngology training to improve its interest amongst medical students invariably improving the number of otorhinolaryngologists in Nigeria.
Keywords: Otorhinolaryngology; Medical students; Attitudes; Jos