Career development of McMaster University medical graduates and its implications for Canadian medical manpower.
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A study was undertaken of the career paths and decisions, and the factors influencing the decisions, of the first six graduating classes of McMaster University's medical school. Climate and geography, preference for urban or rural living and influence of spouse were the factors that most influenced the location of practice, although the graduates who moved to the United States considered economic factors important too. Nearly one third of the specialists were practising in the United States. Personal challenge and positive clinical experience in the field were the major influences on choice of medical field. Graduates entering a specialty were more likely than those entering primary care to consider encouragement of others, a positive example set by medical school faculty members, working hours and research experience in the field as important influences on their choice of medical field. Data are needed on the career decisions, and the factors affecting them, of the graduates of all Canadian medical schools if Canadian medical manpower planning is to be realistic.
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