Choice of career of doctors who graduated from Queen's University, Belfast in 1977

Med Educ. 1985 Mar;19(2):131-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.1985.tb01153.x.


Questionnaires were distributed in 1983 to 139 doctors who graduated from Queen's University Medical School in 1977, in the final stage of a longitudinal study of their choice of career. Replies were obtained from 96.4%. The average number of postgraduate qualifications among the men was 1.5 and among the women 1.7. An average of 41.6% were working in the field they had favoured in 1977, the greatest degree of consistency being among the general practitioners. The peak years for decisions about choice of specialty were reported by the respondents to be 1978 and 1979. Out of a given list of twenty-three factors likely to be taken into consideration in choice of specialty, the degree of importance accorded to eleven differed significantly between male and female respondents. Significant differences of priority emerged on eight factors among respondents in general practice and community medicine and patient- and technique-oriented hospital specialties. Of the 141 doctors who graduated in 1977, 30% had left the province and 65% wished to remain in Northern Ireland in the long term, an increase of 20% on 1977.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Career Choice*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Medicine
  • Northern Ireland
  • Sex Factors
  • Specialization