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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-67

Umm Al-Qura University Medical Students' and interns' perceptions on surgery and surgical career: A cross-sectional study


1 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Physics, Collage of Applied Science, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Osama A Bawazir
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah 21955
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijas.ijas_3_20

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Background: The number of applicants to surgical specialties has decreased worldwide. Several factors contribute to this decline, and early intervention is essential to correct students' misconception about surgical training. The aim of this study was to explore the perception of Umm Al-Qura University Medical Students and Interns about surgery and a career in surgery. Methods: We conducted an institutional-based cross-sectional study at Umm Al-Qura Medical College in Makkah to explore 6th year students' and interns' perception about surgical specialties. The participants were divided into four groups: Group 1 (female 6th year; n = 144); Group 2 (male 6th year; n = 133); Group 3 (female intern; n = 81); and Group 4 (male intern; n = 25). Participation was mandatory for students, and the response rate was 100% in Group 1 and 96% (132/138) in Group 2. Participation was optional for interns, and the response rate was 65% (78/120) in Group 3 and 21% (25/118) in Group 4. Results: Eighty-one percent of the participants think that going to the medical school was a wise decision, and the choice of nonsurgical career was more prominent in female interns. Career choice increased significantly after the 6th year, and the likelihood of choice of the surgical career was higher in males (P = 0.045); however, the possibility to choose pediatric surgery was equal between groups (P = 0.122). Most participants think there was insufficient ward training, and they agreed that they had inadequate operative room training. Conclusion: The majority of medical students and interns are willing to pursue a career with a reasonable quality of life regardless of the income or the social status of this career, and a surgical career is still considered a stressful and demanding specialty. We recommend more lectures, hands-on training, and workshops directed toward medical students to increase their knowledge about these potential factors, which could alter their decision when choosing a surgical career.


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