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May 1990, Volume 40, Issue 5

Letter to the Editor

PREFERENCE OF ANAESTHESIA AS A CAREER

Dear Sir,

A survey was carried out on two hundred and sixty Imal year medical students of Sind Medical College (SMC), Dow Medical College (DMC) and Aga Khan Medical University (AKU) with a set questionnaire1, to see their preference of Anaesthesia as a Career. These students had completed their curriculum of Anaesthesia and were in a position to answer the questions. Currently the medical schools in United Kingdom have an attach­mentto department of Anaesthesia for four weeks and ever since Sir Fredrick Silk2 introduced this speciality in the curriculum, the picture has not been one of great en­couragement. Two hundred and sixty final year medical students participated, of whom 43% were from SMC, 48% from DMC and 9% from AKU. Of these 140 were males. The questionnaire put forward asked as to what they thought of Anaesthesia as a speciality, their views about Anaesthesia teaching and posting and what improvements would they like to see. Also enquired was their preference of the speciality they would like to select as career. Interesting answers were evoked. Fifty (50%) thought it was interesting and important, 29% thoUght that Anaesthesia teaching was very educative, 47% were of the view that not enough time was allocated to the speciality. Given the choice of their future careers, only 2.3% opted for Anaesthesia a first choice, far behind the specialities like gynaecology and obstetrics, surgery, paediatrics and general practice. Significantly, the majority desired more tutorials and practical demonstrations in Anaesthesia. The present study is comparable with British3 and Nigerian1 studies where only 3.9% and 0%, respectively, picked out anaesthesia as first choice. This discrepancy in the percentage of students who would chose it as their career, compared to 50% who thought it was inte:esting, is the direct reflection of the way curriculums are based in those countries4. The authors are of the view that this is the main reason for not opting for anaesthesia. Therefore, if more time be devoted with practical demonstrations and incorporation of intensive care, it could change the trend.

NasirK. Jakhrani BakhtawarH. Rabadi
Anesthesiology Department, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi.

REFERENCES

1. Akiayemi, 0.0. and Soyannwo, A.O. The choice o( anaesthesia as a career by under. gradustes in a developing country. Anaesthesia, 1980; 35: 712.
2. Dinnick. O.P. Progress in anaesthesiology. Proc. 4th WPSA London, 197ft
3. McLaughlia, C. and Parkhousee, J. Career preferences of graduates of two British medical schools. Lancet., 1971; 2: 1018.
4. Prys-Roberta, C., Coper, G.M. and Hutton, P. Anaesthesia in the undergraduate medical curriculum Br. J. Anaesth, 1988; 60:355.

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