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.