The Great Gamble? A Mixed-Methods Study of Factors Influencing Medical Students in Specialty Choice

Background Career planning remains relatively unexplored as a domain of medical education. Our aim was to explore the career planning journey undertaken by medical students.

Methods Mixed-methods data collection was employed. An online questionnaire was distributed to interns (Foundation Year 1 (FY1) equivalents) across Ireland. A focus group was held to further explore themes. Quantitative and qualitative data analysis was applied to findings.

What is the impact of pregnancy and parenthood on studying medicine? Exploring attitudes and experiences of medical students

Medical students are often faced with stressors such as high work demands, numerous assessments, placements and career choices. Using the results of a questionnaire we examined medical students’ attitudes and choices surrounding the impact of pregnancy and parenthood on studying medicine. Many questionnaire respondents (77.6%) believe that the decision to have a child is influenced by studying medicine; 23% have delayed becoming a parent and 7.5% have chosen not to have children.