Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Career Choice among Medical Postgraduate Aspirants in Chennai: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Raghul Saravanan,
No.7, Works Road, Chromepet, Chennai 600044, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Many frontline workers including doctors and nurses have succumbed to the Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. In the COVID-19 pandemic, medical postgraduate (PG) aspirants had to deal with a variety of problems, including an increased workload, delay in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) PG test and counselling.
Aim: To assess the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and various factors influencing career choice among medical PG aspirants in Chennai.
Materials and Methods: The present cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in the Department of Community Medicine, Sree Balaji Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India from August 2021 to September 2021 among 272 medical Postgraduate (PG) aspirants. A Google form questionnaire was sent to students who were in an internship in the past six months or had completed their internship in the past one year. There were 28 multiple choice questions comprising of socio-demographic details (with exception of age) and various factors related to career choice. Five questions were scored yes/no, and 15 questions were scored using 5-point Likert scale.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 24.41±1.81 years and there were 129 males and 143 females in total among the study participants. Change in career choice was observed in 39.33% of the participants. The top two choices prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic was General Surgery and General Medicine. Among the participants who had a change in career choice, the mean score of four questions in COVID-19 pandemic domain was higher when compared with participants who had no change.
Conclusion: Most of the participants believed that the COVID-19 pandemic limited the learning opportunities for postgraduates and the violence against doctors had an impact on their decision to pursue a particular career. Due to the present pandemic, participants interest in community medicine and infectious diseases has increased.