Background: The interests that motivate medical students to study this career are diverse and they may change during the seven years of study. In Chile, 22 universities offer medicine and the number of graduated students has increased by more than 50% over the last 10 years. Aim: To determine the motivational profile of medical students at admission, and at the end of their career. Subjects and Methods: A voluntary anonymous survey was applied to 275 first and 140 seventh year medical students from one traditional public and two private schools. Results: The main reason for applying to medical school was social interest (68.7%), followed by interest in science and academia. Thirty six percent of students from seventh year would not study medicine again. In the seventh year, the interest in medical care persists in 88% of students, followed by academic interests in 64%. Only 24% had research interests. Fifty nine and 57% of students projected their medical work in private and public hospital settings, respectively. Only 11% projected themselves as doing research. Sixty nine percent of students would like to receive more information about post graduate education. Conclusions: There is a low interest in research and a high percentage of seventh year students that would not apply to medicine again. Medical schools should perform a systematic analysis of students' interests to improve faulty areas.
- Career choice