U.S. medical students choice of careers and its future impact on health care manpower

J Health Hum Serv Adm. Spring 2000;22(4):495-509.


During the last 10-15 years, the health care system of this country has faced major challenges, among them, spiraling increases of health care costs, physician manpower maldistribution, excessive production of subspecialists, shortages of primary care physicians (family practice, general internal medicine, and general pediatrics), and lack of access to health care, predominantly among the poor and disadvantaged populations. As a way of shedding light on some of these challenges, the authors conducted a study among junior medical students from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston which focused on some of the factors that might influence medical students' choice of careers. In this article, the authors review the most salient findings for some of the problems that currently plague the health care system of this nation. Certainly, the outcome of this study has important educational and health service delivery implications not only in the United States but abroad as well, particularly among developing nations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Choice*
  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Female
  • Health Workforce
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / supply & distribution
  • Professional Practice
  • Specialization
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Texas
  • Training Support / statistics & numerical data
  • United States