Endocrine Abstracts (2010) 22 P177

Pursuit endocrinology - perceptions, understanding and reactions of students undertaking internal medicine training regarding endocrinology

Sanjay Kalra1, Navneet Agrawal2, AG Unnikrishnan3, Rakesh Sahay4 & Bharti Kalra1

1Bharti Hospital, Karnal, India; 2Medical College, Gwalior, India; 3AIMS, Kochi, India; 4Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, India.

This paper studies the attitudes of postgraduate medical students towards endocrinology and diabetology as a career.

Fifty post graduate students, pursuing residency in internal medicine, at various colleges throughout India, were requested to fill up a pre-tested, five point Likert scale questionnaire designed to assess their likings for various branches and aspects of medicine.

The average age of the respondents was 27 years, with 90% males. Most (92%) wanted to settle in India, with all opting for a job in a town/metro city, and 50% hoping for a government job.

The most preferred speciality was cardiology (favourite ranking: 3.1), followed by diabetology (3.4) and endocrinology (4.2). These subjects were followed by gastroenterology (5.4), nephrology (5.4), neurology (5.7), hematology (6.7), rheumatology (7.2), oncology (7.5), and geriatrics (9.1), in descending order of liking. Coefficient of concordance W was 0.40, X2=36.19 (P<0.01), indicating a high level of agreement amongst respondents.

Respondents believed that diabetes would contribute to 26-50% of their patient load, and earning, after graduation. The preferred aspects of a medical career were OPD practice (preference score 4.3), followed by indoor practice (4.1), academics (3.7), clinical research (2.9) and public awareness (2.9). The difference between these values, as measured by one-way classification analysis of variance, after square root transformation, was significant (F=2.70; P=0.05).

Amongst the endocrine subspecialities, diabetes was the preferred subject (4.6), followed by thyroid (3.4), growth disorders (3.3), adrenal (2.9), bone mineral metabolism (2.7), reproductive endocrinology (2.5), andrology (2.4) and paediatric endocrinology (2.2).

Differences in preference were significant (F=2.59; P=0.05).

This study reveals the preference of internal medicine residents for cardiology, diabetology and endocrinology. The liking for endocrinology is fuelled by a feeling that diabetes contributes significantly to earning and patient load. Thyroid and growth disorders are the other preferred endocrine subspecialities. A significant preference for outdoor and indoor work is also noted, wit ha dislike for research and public awareness work.

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