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Type: Journal article
Title: When, what and how South Australian pre-registration junior medical officers' career choices are made
Author: Laurence, C.
Elliott, T.
Citation: Medical Education, 2007; 41(5):467-475
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 0308-0110
Statement of
Caroline Laurence, Taryn Elliott
Abstract: Objectives This study aimed to provide better understanding of how pre-registration junior medical officers (PJMOs) make their career choices by investigating when decisions are made, what factors impact on choices, and the role of experience in this process. Methods A third (n = 54) of PJMOs from the 2003 cohort at South Australian teaching hospitals participated in the current research. Inductive content analysis was used to discover themes in data gathered from semistructured interviews. Results Interviews revealed that although 26% (14/54) of participants had made their career decisions in their pre-registration year, 50% (27/54) had still to decide on a career choice. The factors identified as impacting on career choice were grouped into 5 main categories: job satisfaction; lifestyle; career path; training programme, and the wider environment. Depending on the demographic profile of the PJMO, different relative importance was assigned to these factors. The most important elements used to confirm or disconfirm PJMOs' potential career choices were the experiences they had of different specialty areas. Discussion This study allowed an in-depth exploration of the factors that affect the decision-making process of PJMOs. It also found that defined groups of PJMOs place different degrees of importance on these factors, which may have implications for medical workforce planning. It is clear that experience and role models are a crucial component of the career decision-making process. This has importance for specialties that are not incorporated into junior medical training.
Keywords: Humans
Interpersonal Relations
Life Style
Career Choice
Job Satisfaction
Time Factors
Medical Staff, Hospital
South Australia
Description: The definitive version is available at
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2929.2007.02728.x
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