Prepared to practice? Perception of career preparation and guidance of recent medical graduates at two campuses of a transnational medical school: a cross-sectional study.
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BACKGROUND: Graduating medical students enter the workforce with substantial medical knowledge and experience, yet little is known about how well they are prepared for the transition to medical practice in diverse settings. We set out to compare perceptions of medical school graduates' career guidance with their perceptions of preparedness to practice as interns. We also set out to compare perceptions of preparedness for hospital practice between graduates from two transnational medical schools.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study. A Preparedness for Hospital Practice (PHPQ) survey and career guidance questionnaire was sent to recent medical graduates, incorporating additional free text responses on career preparation. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and tests of association including Chi-square, Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis H tests.
RESULTS: Forty three percent (240/555) of graduates responded to the survey: 39 % of respondents were domestic (Dublin, Ireland or Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain) and interning locally; 15 % were overseas students interning locally; 42 % were overseas students interning internationally and 4 % had not started internship. Two variables explained 13 % of the variation in preparedness for hospital practice score: having planned postgraduate education prior to entering medical school and having helpful career guidance in medical school. Overseas graduates interning internationally were more likely to have planned their postgraduate career path prior to entering medical school. Dublin graduates found their career guidance more helpful than Bahrain counterparts. The most cited shortcomings were lack of structured career advice and lack of advice on the Irish and Bahraini postgraduate systems.
CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated that early consideration of postgraduate career preparation and helpful medical school career guidance has a strong association with perceptions of preparedness of medical graduates for hospital practice. In an era of increasing globalization of medical education, these findings can direct ongoing efforts to ensure all medical students receive career guidance and preparation for internship appropriate to their destination.