Medical school application essays and specialty choice

Fam Med. 1994 Sep;26(8):509-12.


Objective: To identify factors that could be used to predict physician specialty selection at the level of admissions to medical school.

Methods: Content analysis was performed on 161 personal statements from the American Medical College Admission Service application form. Randomly selected graduates analyzed were from the classes of 1985-1987 from a Midwestern public medical school.

Results: Fifty percent of those who stated that they had contact with a medical specialty entered either that specialty or a closely related specialty. Of the 11 applicants who stated a goal of entering family practice, one entered family practice.

Conclusions: Contact with a specialty prior to entering medical school may be a significant predictor of the prospective student's eventual specialty selection. However, goals mentioned in the statements are not predictors of specialty choice.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude*
  • Career Choice*
  • Education, Medical
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Medical Laboratory Science / education
  • Medicine*
  • Missouri
  • Pediatrics / education
  • School Admission Criteria*
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Specialization*
  • Students, Medical*