Does General surgery clerkship make a future career in surgery more appealing to medical students?|
Makama, J.G. & Ameh, E.A.
Background: Medical students′ decreasing interest in surgical careers has raised much concern. This report is to ascertain the influence of surgical clerkship on the perceptions of medical students on prospects of a future career interest in surgery.
Methods: A cross sectional study, involving final year medical students. Information concerning their interest in a surgical career, what they thought of surgery before and after general surgery clerkship was obtained.
Results: A total of 120 medical students participated in the study. The age range was 24-36 years (mean 27+2). There were 87 (72.5%) males and 33 (27.5%) females.
Ten students (8.0%) were interested in surgery before their last surgery clerkship, 18 (15%) Obstetric and Gynaecology, 92 (76.6%) others. Those that developed interest in surgery following the clerkship increased to 33 (27.5%) (P<0.001), 34 (28.3%) Obstetric & Gynecology, while other specialties reduced to 53 (44.2%).
One hundred and one (84.2%) (M=71, F=30) students believe they had identified a role model or a mentor during the clerkship, either a consultant or a resident. Eighty eight (73.3%) (M=62, F=26) student who liked and loved surgery at the end of the clerkship identified surgical mentors during their time.
Conclusion: General surgical clerkship has influence on future career in surgery among medical students. Focused and effective mentoring by faculty as well as early exposure of students to positive role models should help to reverse negative impressions held by students.
Surgery, clerkship, medical students, career