Medical Students’ Career Choice and Attitudes towards Family Medicine in Morocco
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AbstractBackground. The motivation of this work is driven on the one hand from the need to understand the medical students’ attitude towards medical training in the context of the reform in Morocco and the creation of “family medicine” as a specialty. This study aims to explore the expectations of medical students regarding family medicine and to identify the factors that may influence setting their choices after graduation. Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional study among Moroccan medical students from public faculties during the month of August 2019. The data collection was based on an online self-administered electronic questionnaire. The quantitative data were analyzed by SPSS version 16. The analyses were descriptive univariate (Fisher’s test) and multivariate (binary logistic regression) with a P value of 5%. The qualitative data were synthesized according to a thematic analysis grid. Results. The medical students in Morocco have a positive perception of family medicine as an important specialty but low interest in it as a future career. Only 6.4% had the intention to choose it as a future career. However, 27.5% chose to become a general practitioner if it is a specialty (family medicine, as part of the new medical reform). The factors associated with the choice of career in general practice were mainly the ambition for career development (OR = 4.8; 95% CI [2.46; 9.51]), income (OR = 2.6; 95% CI [1.11; 6.29]), or the personal experience as a student or patient in contact with a general practitioner (OR = 0.48; 95% CI [0.25; 0.92]). Conclusion. The practical experience with family medicine seems to have an important influence on being attracted to family medicine careerwise. The study findings will inform future planning to introduce the residency program.