Greek medical students' career choices indicate strong tendency towards specialization and training abroad
AuthorAvgerinos, E. D.; Msaouel, P.; Koussidis, G. A.; Keramaris, N. C.; Bessas, Z.; Gourgoulianis, K.
The aim of the study was to investigate the career choices, location preferences and criteria among medical students in Greece. We applied a questionnaire-based analysis using a sample of 591 students of four out of seven Greek Medical Schools. The sample included students of all academic years. The vast majority of students wish to specialize (97.6%), while general practice gathered a very low percentage (1.7%). The scientific challenge (61.4%) and interaction with patients (60.6%) seem to be the major influencing factors for most of the students' specialty preferences, whilst less common variables influencing career choice are the high demand/supply ratio for certain health services (40.4%), the income potential (31.4%), the active tempo (26.2%) and prestige (15%). 70.3% of those asked consider the possibility of specializing abroad. The low concern of Greek medical students for general practice reveals today's drastic deficiency in Greek primary health care. Such a situation will escalate, unless targeted strategies to produce more general practitioners are adopted. Furthermore, the results reflect a lower education and organizing level urging students to specialize abroad. The National Health System (NHS) should be reformed towards a rationalistic distribution of the medical specialties and medical workforce. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.