alexa Medical students, money, and career selection: students' perception of financial factors and remuneration in family medicine.
Healthcare

Healthcare

Primary Healthcare: Open Access

Author(s): Morra DJ, Regehr G, Ginsburg S

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Medical students have had a declining interest in family medicine as a career. Some studies have shown a small inverse relationship between debt levels and primary care, but it is unclear how students perceive remuneration in different specialties and how these perceptions might influence career choice.

METHODS:

Medical students at one school were surveyed to understand their perceptions of physician remuneration and to gain insight into how these perceptions might affect career selection.

RESULTS:

Response rate was 72% (560/781 students). Students' estimates of physician income were accurate throughout training, with the overall estimate for family medicine being lower than the actual income by only $10,656. The vast majority of students agreed with the statement that family physicians get paid too little (85%-89% of each class). The importance of payment as a factor in career decision making increased with higher debt and with advancing training.

CONCLUSIONS:

Students are able to accurately predict income by specialty from an early stage of training and have a negative perception of income in family medicine. The perception that family physicians make too little money could be an important driver--or at least a modifier--in the lack of interest in family medicine.

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This article was published in Fam Med and referenced in Primary Healthcare: Open Access

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