Comparison of internal medicine, pediatric, and medicine/pediatrics applicants and factors influencing career choices

South Med J. 1999 Mar;92(3):296-9. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199903000-00007.


Background: A reemergence of medical students choosing primary care is occurring, with medicine/pediatrics as an increasingly popular option. We compared applicants to pediatrics, medicine, and medicine/pediatrics and the factors that influence career choice.

Methods: We designed a survey to gather objective data and information shown to influence career choices. Applicants interviewing in our three primary care programs completed the survey.

Results: Pediatric applicants were more likely to be women and to choose their career in the 2nd year of medical school. Medicine/Pediatrics applicants had the highest interest in practicing primary care and in pursuing an academic career. However, they had the smallest number of role models. The average education debt was the same.

Conclusion: Differences in applicants applying to primary care programs may be used to target particular applicants and to counsel medical students on career choice.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Choice*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / education*
  • Students, Medical*
  • United States
  • Workforce