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Interests and specialty choice in medicine

By Elchanan I. Meir and Kathy Engel


The study deals with the origin of occupational satisfaction in the medical profession. It examines the relationship between the specialty choice within the medical profession on the one hand, and satisfaction with the occupational choice on the other. Following an intensive analysis of the medical profession and interviews with senior physicians, three dimensions along which the medical specialties differ were defined: contact with people (contact), usage of instruments and equipment (instruments), and occurrence of dramatic events in the physician's daily work (sensation). Eighty-one medical practitioners answered the IIP (interest inventory for physicians) which was constructed to measure their vocational interests. Results show: (1) reliability coefficients of 0.85, 0.92 and 0.83 for the contact, instruments and sensation components of the IIP, respectively; and (2) correlations of 0.31, 0.27 and 0.53 between interest-specialty congruence in contact, instruments and sensation, respectively, on the one hand, and satisfaction with the medical speciality choice on the other. Several implications and applications are discussed.interests vocational specialty choice medical specialty work satisfaction

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