Profiling Potential Medical Students and Exploring Determinants of Career Choice
At this university, a Biomedical Common Year 1 occurs prior to admission to the medical programme. Students achieving a minimum GPA of 6.0 are eligible for consideration for an admissions interview. The aim of this research was to assess the psycho-educational factors that underpin students’ intention to study medicine. The research question driving the research was, ‘If students have an interest in becoming a future doctor in their premedical course, does this relate to their levels of motivation, competitiveness, perceived stress, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and grade attainment?’ A total of 339 students (response rate = 25%) who completed a biosciences assessment filled in a survey that asked them to disclose their grade and to respond to a series of questionnaires, namely the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire, World Health Organisation Quality Of Life questionnaire - New Zealand Version, Perceived Stress Scale, and Revised Competitiveness Index. The findings from the binary logistic regression indicated that several variables predicted students’ career intentions: grade achievement, Perceived Stress, Physical HRQOL, and Environmental HRQOL. Perceived Stress and Physical HRQOL were found to be influential variables that interacted with other variables reducing variability in the model and increasing its predictability. Students with an intention to become a doctor tend to attain higher grades and have better environmental HRQOL scores. Nonetheless, variable interactions suggested that those students with high levels of physical HRQOL and low levels of perceived stress have higher levels of enjoyment regarding competition, self-efficacy, and intrinsic value.