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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Nithish JAYAKUMAR 1, Kamran AHMED 2, Ben CHALLACOMBE 2
1 Department of Anatomy, King’s College London, Guy’s Campus, London, UK; 2 Urology Centre, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Great Maze Pond, London, UK
BACKGROUND: Our aim was to understand the specific factors which influence medical students’ choice to train in urology, in order to attract the best and the brightest into the specialty during a challenging time for surgical training in the United Kingdom.
METHODS: A cross-sectional web-based survey was generated to evaluate: 1) perceptions of urology; 2) attitudes about urology as a career; 3) exposure to urology at medical school; and 4) proficiency in common urological procedures. The survey was sent to all 33 medical schools in the UK and advertised to all medical students.
RESULTS: The survey received 488 responses were received from 14 medical schools; 59.8% of respondents did not consider a career in urology. Factors affecting a career choice in urology included: 1) year of study; 2) male gender; 3) favorable perceptions of urology; 4) favorable attitudes about urology as a career; 5) more hours of urology teaching in preclinical years; 6) attendance at urology theatre sessions; 7) confidence in performing urological procedures; and 8) more attempts at male catheterization. The commonest reason for not considering urology was inadequate exposure to urology. Students in Year 3 were more likely to consider urology than final-year students, due to multifactorial reasons.
CONCLUSIONS: Year of study is a novel factor affecting students’ consideration of urology as a career. This paper clearly shows that early and sustained exposure to urology positively correlated with considering a career in urology. Urologists must be more active in promoting the specialty to medical students.