AbstractsMedical & Health Science

Exploring the career maze : an exploratory sequential mixed methods study to determine the career intentions of medical graduates in Pakistan

by Zarrin Seema Siddiqui

Institution: University of Western Australia
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Mixed methods; Theory of planned behavior; Medical graduates; Pakistan; Workforce
Record ID: 1031962
Full text PDF: http://repository.uwa.edu.au:80/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=40204&local_base=GEN01-INS01


[Truncated abstract] Introduction: Pakistan faces a number of challenges in medical education. One of the issues is uneven distribution of the medical workforce. In March 2013, there were 132,988 MBBS doctors including 28,686 specialists registered with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council serving a population of more than 160 million. However, no data are available as to how many of these graduates are practising in Pakistan. The number of doctors migrating to other countries is also increasing. In conjunction with this, there is a dearth of practicing doctors in rural areas as well as a shortage of specialists in various fields. This is an alarming situation given that from 2001 onwards the admissions to medical colleges have been based on merit and the number of female students enrolled in medical schools is increasing. A common observation is that a large number of female graduates leave medical practice soon after graduation. Therefore an investigation of the factors that influence the career intentions of medical graduates in Pakistan is worthy of further study. Methodology: The study adopted a sequential exploratory mixed method approach that incorporated a qualitative phase followed by a quantitative phase. QUALITATIVE PHASE: A qualitative approach was used in the first phase of the study to examine medical graduates' reasons for their career intentions in light of Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). Five focus group discussions were conducted in two cities in Pakistan. These were then transcribed and were coded into the three primary attributes of TPB i.e. behavioral, normative and control beliefs by comparing similarities and differences. To assess the strength of each belief an additional level of analysis was performed where the whole experience of the medical course was divided into three stages i.e at the time of entry into medical course (Pre-exploration stage), during the medical course (Exploration stage) and soon after graduation (Stabilization stage). This classification assisted in assessing the influence of TPB attributes at different stages of the career of medical graduates. The results suggest a strong support for all three attributes of TPB however there were differences in the relative influence of these considerations at different stages of the medical course with a predominance of control beliefs in last two stages. QUANTITATIVE PHASE: In the second phase of the study, results from the qualitative phase and the literature review were used to develop a Career Intentions Questionnaire (CIQ). This instrument was administered online and in hard copy. Four hundred and seventy-nine medical graduates of 24 medical schools responded. Analysis of the data included descriptive statistics and frequency distribution. For items scored using Likert scales, mean values and standard deviations were calculated. Potential differences on the basis of socio-demographic factors and influencing factors were assessed using ANOVA and t-tests... [Truncated abstract] Introduction: Pakistan faces a…