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Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Does clerkship experience influence interest In internal medicine career?

Oluchi Stella Ekenze, Sebastian Okwuchukwu Ekenze, John Ugochukwu Onyebueze

Abstract


BACKGROUND:The career intention of undergraduate medical students may be influenced by the clerkship experience in the various specialties.
AIM:This study was undertaken to assess the medical student's perception of the internal medicine clerkship and determine its influence in the choice of internal medicine as a career.
METHODS:The study involved a cross-sectional survey of 2009 and 2010 graduating medical class of Universityof Nigeria using self-administered questionnaires.The clerkship evaluation  was assessed using a 3-point Likert scale (1=poor and 3 excellent).
RESULTS:The response rate was 70.3% (275/391).Sixty -five (23.6%) rated their medicine clerkship as excellent (mean rating 2.04).Aspects of the clerkship experience that contributed to the overall poor rating include quality of opportunity to participate in direct patient care, ability to manage problems in a general medicine setting, accessibility to consultants and feedback on performance during the postings.Experience in learning basic physical examination skills and overall quality of consultant teaching was considered excellent by 42.3% and 30.8% of the participants respectively. Twenty–six (9.5%) of the participants indicated interest in internal medicine while 96(35%), 43(15.6%) and 34(12.4%) chose surgery, paediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology respectively. Factors that swayed the choice of medicine were personal inclination (57.7%), clerkship experience (30.8%), diligence of faculty (7.7%),and lifestyle (3.8%).
CONCLUSION: Clerkship experience may not be the main factor influencing choice of internal medicine. However, a review of clerkship in internal medicine may improve experience and enhance choice of internal medicine as a specialty among medical students.

KEY WORDS: clerkship,career choice,internal medicine,medical students, 




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