Future career plans of final year medical students in medical schools of southeast Nigeria: implications for policy
Keywords:Career plans, medical student, medical school, southeast Nigeria.
Background: The doctor population ratio in Nigeria is low when compared with advanced countries. The study was designed to determine the future career plans of final year medical students in medical schools of southeast Nigeria and its policy implications.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. All final year medical students in six medical schools of southeast Nigeria who were willing to participate were included in the study. Questionnaire was self-administered.
Results: The response rate was 86.7% and 457 medical students participated in the study. The mean age of respondents was 25.5±2.9 years and 57.1% were male. Majority of the students, 89.5% intend to pursue specialist medical training after graduation and the highest proportion, 47.9% preferred to specialize in Nigeria while 32.8% opted for countries outside Africa. On choice of sector, 35.2% wanted to combine public and private practice while 24.9% wanted to lecture in medical schools. Majority, 67.6% planned to live and work in Nigeria after specialization.
Conclusion: Majority of the students preferred specialist training after graduation with a preference for Nigeria. Also, majority planned to settle and work in Nigeria after specialist training. There is the need to meet the expectations of these students and this will necessitate increasing the Residency training opportunities in Nigeria and plans to retain the doctors willing to practice in Nigeria after training. The students should consider going into joint ventures and use that as means of reducing the number of people going out of the country every year for specialist medical treatment.
World Health Organization. Density of physicians (total number per 1000 population, latest … Available at www.who.int/glo/health_workforce/physicians_density/en. Accessed 30th May 2018.
World Health Organization. World Health Report 2006, Working together for health. Geneva. WHO.
Scheffler RM, Lui JX, Kinfu Y, Poz MR. Forcasting the global shortage of physicians: an economic –and needs- based approach. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2008;86:516-523.
Cooper RA, Getzen TE, Mckee HJ, Land P. Economic and demographic trends signal an impending physician shortage. Health Affairs. 2002;21:140-154.
Cooper RA. Weighing the evidence for expanding physician supply. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2004;141:705-714.
Cooper RA. Physician migration: a challenge for the world. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. 2005;25:8-14.
Ossai EN, Uwakwe KA, Anyanwagu UC, Ibiok NC, Azuogu BN, Ekeke N. Specialty preferences among final year medical students in medical schools of southeast Nigeria: need for career guidance. BMC Medical Education. 2016;16:259.
Anand S, Barnighausen T. Human resources and health outcomes: cross-country econometric study. Lancet.2004;364:1603-1609.
Robinson J, Wharrad H. The relationship between attendance at birth and maternal mortality rates: an exploration of United Nations’ data sets including the ratios of physicians and nurses to population, GNP per capita and female literacy/ Health and Nursing Policy Issues. 2001;34:445-455.
Gulliford M. Availability of primary care doctors and population health in England: is there an association? J Public Health Med. 2002;24:252-254.
Khader Y, Al-Zoubi D, Amarin Z, Alkafregei A, Khasawneh M, Bargar S, et al. Factors affecting medical students in formulating their specialty preference in Jordan. BMC Med Edu. 2008;8:32.
World Health Organization. Global Health Workforce Alliance. Human for Health Country Profile- Nigeria. 2008. Geneva. WHO.
Bentenblog. List of medical schools in Nigeria for studying…. Available at https://www.bentenblog.com. General Education News. Accessed 31st May 2018.
Rabiu A, Abubakar IS, Ibrahim G, Mu’uta JA. Choice of specialization among female clinical medical students of Bayero University Kano, Nigeria. Journal of Basic and Clinical Reproductive Sciences. 2017;6(1):128-133.
Federal Republic of Nigeria. Official Gazette, 2007. Lagos, Nigeria.
Federal Republic of Nigeria. National Bureau of Statistics. Annual Abstract of Statistics, 2010. Abuja, Nigeria.
Akpayak IC, Okonta KE, Ekpe EE. Medical students’ preference for choice of clinical specialties: a multicenter survey in Nigeria. Jos Journal of Medicine. 2014;8(3):49-52.
Rukewe A, Abebe WA, Fatiregun AA, Kgantshango M. Specialty preferences among medical students in Botswana. BMC Res Notes. 2017;10:195. doi.10.1186/s13104-017-2523-y.
Mendalawi AI. Specialty preferences of Iraqi medical students. Clin Teach. 2010;7(3):175-9. doi:10.1111/j.1743-498X.2010.00358.x.
Cieszko-Buk M, Bachanek T, Wojcik-Checinska I, Chalas R. Career plans of students of dental-medical major at Medical University of Lublin in the years 2004-2012. Pol J Public Health.2014;124(2):77-80.
Nassar U, Fairbanks C, Kilistoff A, Easton R, Flores-Mir C. Career plans of graduates of a Canadian dental school: preliminary report of a 5 year study. J Can Dent Assoc. 2016;82:g19.
Egbi OG, Unuigbe EI. Choice of medical specialties among final year medical students in two universities in south-south Nigeria. West Afr J Med. 2014;33(1):44-50.
Mandeville KL, Bartley T, Mipando M. Future career plans of Malawian medical students: a cross-sectional survey. Human Resources for Health. 2012;10:29-37.
Bailey N, Mandeville KL, Rhodes T, Mipando M, Muula AS. Postgraduate career intentions of medical students and recent graduates in Malawi: a qualitative interview study. BMC Medical Education. 2012;12:87. doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-87.
Burch VC, McKinley D, van Wyk J, Kiguli-Walube S, Cameron D, Cilliers FJ, Longombe AO, Mkony C, Okoromah C, Otieno-Nyunya B, Morahan PS. Career intentions of medical students trained in six sub-Saharan African countries. Education for Health. 2011;24(3).
Josko J, Kasperczyk J, Grzybowski A, Ejsmont J, Karwat D, Zarzeczna-Baran M, Jethon Z. Career plans of Polish medical university students. Probl Hig Epidemiol. 2011;92(2):199-203.
Avgerinos ED, Msaouel P, Koussidis GA, Keramaris NC, Bessas Z, Gourgoulianis K. Greek medical students’ career choices indicate a strong tendency towards specialization and training abroad. PlumX Meetrics.2006;79(1):101-106.
Patel MJ, Riaz M, Tariq M, Jamil S, Ansari T, Khan MS, Samdani AJ, Ayaz SI, Sorathia A, Akhtar J. Career goals of trainee physicians in Internal Medicine. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan. 2008;18(6):352-356.
Delgado AP, Martins AS, Ferrinho P. Medical trainin experience and expectations regarding future medical practice of medical students at the University of Cape Verde. Acta Med Port. 2017;30(10): 699-703. https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.8179.
de Vires E, Irlam J, Couper I, Kornik S, Career plans of final-year medical students in South Africa. SAMJ. 2010;100(4):227-228.
Dambisya YM. Career intentions of UNITRA Medical students and their perceptions about the future. Education for Health. 2003;16(3):286-297.
Idowu EO, Adewole OA. Spectrum of neurosurgical complications following medical tourism: challenges of patients without borders. African Health Sciences. 2015;15(1):240-245.
Omisore EO, Agbabiaka H. Factors influencing patronage of medical tourism in metropolitan Lagos, Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific & Technology Research. 2016;5(4):32-41.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2019 The Nigerian Health Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The Journal is owned, published and copyrighted by the Nigerian Medical Association, River state Branch. The copyright of papers published are vested in the journal and the publisher. In line with our open access policy and the Creative Commons Attribution License policy authors are allowed to share their work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.
The use of general descriptive names, trade names, trademarks, and so forth in this publication, even if not specifically identified, does not imply that these names are not protected by the relevant laws and regulations. While the advice and information in this journal are believed to be true and accurate on the date of its going to press, neither the authors, the editors, nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein.
TNHJ also supports open access archiving of articles published in the journal after three months of publication. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g, in institutional repositories or on their website) within the stated period, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). All requests for permission for open access archiving outside this period should be sent to the editor via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.