Research Article
Volume 12 Issue 4 - 2021
Factors Influencing the Choice of Orthopedic Specialty among Interns and Last Year Medical Students in Saudi Arabia
Mohammad Alsaleem1, Adia Almutairi2*, Abdullah Alkhars2, Arwa AlOnayzan2, Riyad Almasaud3, Ali Al Khalaf2 and Abdulwahab Aladhyani4
1King Fahad Hospital, Saudi Arabia
2College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia
3Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
4Shaqra University, Saudi Arabia
*Corresponding Author: Adia Almutairi, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia.
Received: February 11, 2021; Published: March 30, 2021


Objective: To investigate the factors influencing the choice of an orthopedic career among last year medical students and interns in Saudi Arabia, to guide them to improve their choice, and avoid risks of burning out in undesired residency or wrong life career.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Saudi Arabia between August 2020 to October 2020. The final questionnaire comprised 2 sections and 19 items. It was distributed in the social media (a self-administered electronic questionnaire). The total number of participants was 455, all senior medical students and medical interns who are interested in orthopedic specialty have been included. Microsoft Excel was used for data management. After management, data were exported to Statistical Packages for Social Sciences version 23 analysis. Descriptive statistics were presented using frequency and percentages for categorical variables. Chi-square test was used to test the presence of association between categorical variabels. Level of significance was set at 0.05.

Results: A total of 388 participants were included in this study, 64.7% were males and 35.3% were females. Most important factors in e decision to pursue the field of orthopedics chosen by participants are as follows: 165 (42.5%) chose patient care aspects, 81 (20.9%) chose lifestyle, 17 (4.4%) chose basic science/research aspect, 12 (3.1%) chose pressure of family and/or peers. Most influencing individual for the participants to affect their choice of residency, 111 (28.6%) stated it was a health worker before medical school, 102 (23.3%) was a resident in the training program they plan to apply, 118 (30.4%) was a faculty in the program they plan to apply, 13 (3.4%) was a family member/family expectation. A significant difference between males and females (p = 0.038) was observed across the influence of work-life balance on the career choice. 

Conclusion: This research suggested the medical students and interns to highlight a number of factors associated with specialty selection and provide an insight about the best ways to make a wise decision regarding specialty choice. However, the results of this study identified patient care aspects as the most important factor that influence them to choose orthopedics as a future career and the decision to choose orthopedics was most heavily influenced by training in medical school year 4 and 5. We advocate that perceptions and attitudes regarding orthopedic surgery must be changed to attract the best and brightest minds, regardless of sex. Finally, we encourage further research in this field with including orthopedic residents in future studies.


Keywords: Orthopedics; interns; medical students; career choice; motivation; Saudi Arabia


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Citation: Adia Almutairi., et al. “Factors Influencing the Choice of Orthopedic Specialty among Interns and Last Year Medical Students in Saudi Arabia”. EC Orthopaedics 12.4 (2021): 62-73.

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