Objectives: To determine an association of students’ career choices with academic performance during the undergraduate years and to identify reasons and motivations of medical students for their career choices.
Methodology: Cross-sectional study was conducted from March-2021 till May-2021 at Yusra Medical College, Islamabad. The target population were approached by convenience sampling technique from 1st to final year MBBS students. The validated questionnaire of strength of motivation for medical school (SMMS) and reasons for career choice was used. Academic performance was assessed by previous results. The data was entered in SPSS version 23. Pearson’s correlation was used to determine an association between career choices and motivations. A p<0.05 at 95% confidence interval (CI) was considered significant.
Result: From the total 502 students, the most preferred choices were the desire to help (87.1%), personal satisfaction (79.5%), and interest in the subject (74.1%). Moderate to low level of motivation was reported by most of the students. Personal satisfaction (p=0.028) and shortage of doctors (p=0.001) showed a significant association. A weak relationship was found between reasons of career choice and academic performance (p=0.182) and between motivation and academic performance p = (0.584). The association found between career choice and motivation with academic performance was non-significant.
It was inferred that most common reason to enter in medical profession was the desire to help people, personal satisfaction and interests in the field. Moreover, the lack of doctors in society as the motivation for becoming healthcare providers shows the maturity in the students. Furthermore; the medical students’ academic performances are mostly independent of the reasons and motivations for choosing the career. This evidence could guide the medical educationists for future research.
Key words: Academic performance, Medical profession, Medical students’ motivation, Undergraduate medical students.