Mentorship role in the choice of surgery as a career among medical students in Rwanda|
Manirakiza, A.; Hrdy, M.; Ginwalla, R.; Kamanzi,B. & Calland, J.F.
Introduction: Surgery stands as a popular career choice among medical students in Sub-Saharan Africa, but there are far too few surgeons per capita to treat the population that need care. Positive mentorship relationships during a student’s undergraduate medical education may promote the choice of
Surgery as a path for post graduate residency training. The primary aim of this study is to discern the relative impact of close relationships between faculty and medical students on future medical career choice in Rwanda.
Methods: The survey enrolled 135 final year medical students of the National University of Rwanda between January and May 2013. Medical students who completed their surgical rotation were all included into this study after informed consent. Data were collected, cleaned and analyzed using Microsoft Excel.
Descriptive statistics, normal distributed and non-normal distributed analysis, student t-test, and non-parametric tests were used where appropriate.
Results: Participants were predominantly male (83.2%) and all respondents had recently completed an 8-week rotation on Surgery. Whereas 41.1% (n=39) of the respondents had interest in a surgical career prior to their last year of internship, only 30.9% (n=29) were likely to pursue a career
to surgery as their top choice after completing their clinical rotations. Approximately half of the participants reported having their interest increased as a result of mentorship from surgical attendings / consultants (54.6%, n=52), and surgical residents (47.4%, n= 45). A minority of respondents (35.1%, n=33) reported having less contact with surgeons than with physicians from other specialties prior to their clerkship. Nearly half of the students interested in a career of surgery reported low satisfaction in their surgical clerkship (44.8%, n=13).
Conclusion: Surgical consultants and residents exert considerable influence on medical students interested in Surgery as a future career. Whether increasing social interaction and individualized/small groups interactions will actually increase the number of trainees choosing Surgery requires prospective testing.
Mentorship; Surgery; Career; Medical students; Rwanda