Singer A. In pursuit of generalism: basic factors influencing the specialty decisions of osteopathic medical school seniors in 1995. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1996;96(11):699. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19188.8.131.529.
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An analysis of survey responses of seniors graduating from osteopathic medical school in 1995 shows that the selection of the medical specialty they planned to pursue in their postgraduate training was considerably influenced by 10 common factors. These factors ranged from the students' orientation to people or techniques, to prestige and income associated with the specialty. The People orientation factor exerted a strong influence on students planning to pursue primary care specialties (defined as Family Practice, General Internal Medicine, and General Pediatrics) Similarly, for students planning to pursue a nonprimary care specialty, the Prestige/income, the Intellectual Content factor, and the Research Factor, with its absence of stress and opportunity for research in other nonprimary care fields, swayed their decision. These findings have implications for the medical school admissions process. If that process can be used to identify students who relate well to people and are more oriented to dealing with preventive medicine and the broad spectrum of health problems presented by individual patients, then it could become an even greater force in the movement toward generalism in medicine.
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