|Title||Medical Students' Perceived Interests and Concerns for a Career in Neurosurgery.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||Guadix SW, Younus I, Winston G, Eljalby M, Xia J, Nario JJose, Rothbaum M, Radwanski RE, Greenfield JP, Pannullo SC|
|Date Published||2020 07|
|Keywords||Adult, Career Choice, Female, Humans, Male, Neurosurgery, Students, Medical, United States|
OBJECTIVE: The factors that attract and concern medical students about a career in neurosurgery have never been clearly characterized or delineated in a large nationwide cohort of medical students intending to pursue a career in neurosurgery. The objective of the present study was to characterize the factors that influence medical student interest in neurosurgery and assess the effects of a formal neurosurgery training course on participants' perceptions of a career in neurosurgery.
METHODS: Before the Medical Student Neurosurgery Training Camp for subinternship preparation, registered students were surveyed about their interest level in neurosurgery, factors that attracted or concerned them about a career in neurosurgery, attendance at a national neurosurgery conference or course, formal clinical neurosurgery exposure in medical school, and whether they had a resident or attending mentor in neurosurgery. At the end of the course, all the participants completed the surveyed again. P < 0.05 was considered significant on Pearson's χ and Fisher's exact tests for categorical variables and 2-tailed paired Student's t tests for continuous variables.
RESULTS: Of the training camp attendees, >95% completed both pre- and postcourse surveys, including 41 first-year, 19 second-year, 30 third-year, and 5 fourth-year medical school students. The most common factors that concerned students about a career in neurosurgery were work-life balance (76%) and competitiveness (56%). All factors of concern were decreased in the postcourse survey, except for competitiveness. A small cohort (8.4%) of students had no concerns about a career in neurosurgery; this cohort had doubled to 17% after the course (P < 0.05). The students that indicated no concern had a greater postcourse interest level in neurosurgery (95.8 ± 8.7 vs. 86.7 ± 20.5; P < 0.05). Student reasons for an interest in neurosurgery included intellectually stimulating work (94%), interest in neurosciences (93%), effect on patients (84%), innovation and new technology (80%), research opportunities (77%), and prestige (24%). All reasons increased after the course, with the exception of prestige, which decreased to 22%.
CONCLUSION: A training camp for students pursuing a neurosurgery subinternship was effective in providing transparency and positively influencing the factors that attract and concern students about a career in neurosurgery. Characterization of medical student perceptions of neurosurgery from a large, nationwide cohort of students pursuing a subinternship has provided novel data and could help identify factors protecting against burnout later in life.
|Alternate Journal||World Neurosurg|