Expectations for the professional practice of medicine of students that start university studies

Expectativas para el ejercicio profesional de la medicina en estudiantes que inician su carrera universitaria
Camilo Torres Sernaa, María Paula Ramírez Quirogaa, Juliana Ospina Cruza, Valentina Díaz Giraldoa

a Programa de Medicina, Facultad de Salud, Universidad Libre, Seccional de Cali, Cali, Colombia

Recibido 27 septiembre 2016, Aceptado 30 noviembre 2016

Palabras Clave

Carrera de Medicina, Currículo médico, Estudiantes de Medicina, Expectativas profesionales


Medical curriculum, Medical degree, Medical students, Professional expectations


Introduction: Practicing any profession requires having enough motivation to address problems that present themselves every day, but the practice of medicine requires extreme motivation, and it also includes hard working days filled with frequent frustrations dealing with disease and death. It has been observed that doctors now want to specialise in one area of medicine, for many reasons, including scientific growth, better working conditions, more predictable working hours, better economic conditions, etc.

Objective: To examine what first semester Medical students of a private university in Cali, Colombia would like their future professional practice to be.

Method: Cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using a questionnaire to the freshmen of the Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad Libre of Cali (Colombia). They were asked to choose between seven options of what they were planning for their professional practice once they graduated as medical doctors.

Results: The results showed that 83% of surveyed students expected to specialise, and only 2.6% would remain as general practitioners.

Conclusions: The results of the study and a review of similar studies lead to the conclusion that medical students do not want to practice general medicine, regardless of location, and only have the expectation of becoming specialists; therefore medical schools should focus their curriculum in order for their students to achieve that expectation.