The Motives of Medical Students in Tehran University for Choosing Medicine Field and their Outlooks for their Profession: Qualitative versus Quantitative Approach


saharnaz nedjat 1 , * , Hasan Emami Razavi 1 , Arash Rashidian 1 , Shahrzad Yazdani 1 , Reza Majdzadeh 1

1 Iran

How to Cite: nedjat S, Emami Razavi H , Rashidian A , Yazdani S , Majdzadeh R . The Motives of Medical Students in Tehran University for Choosing Medicine Field and their Outlooks for their Profession: Qualitative versus Quantitative Approach, Strides Dev Med Educ. 2007 ; 3(1):e57842.


Strides in Development of Medical Education: 3 (1); e57842
Published Online: July 01, 2006
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 09, 2017
Accepted: January 10, 2006




Background: It seems that in our country choosing medicine as the field of study in university is mostly
due to family and society pressures rather than the applicant’s real interest in this field.
Objective: To determine medical students’ motives for choosing medicine and their outlooks for this
profession by using two qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Methods: The qualitative part includes two focus group discussions with interns, and one focus group
discussion with fresh students. In the quantitative part, complementary to the qualitative section, the causes
of choosing medicine field and the rate of students’ and applicants’ awareness toward the future statue of
their profession were studied. For this purpose, 33 fresh students, 107 interns, and 88 applicants of
medicine field after taking the entrance examination were selected through convenient and consecutive
sampling and were asked to complete the designated questionnaire.
Results: In the qualitative part, everybody agreed that the applicants’ own preference is not determining,
and almost all of the students mentioned the social prestige of a physician and medical field as the main
cause of choosing this field. In the quantitative part, interest in the scientific content of this field (in 42%),
the role of physician in health improvement (in 21%), financial income (in 14.3%), the social prestige of
physician (in 13%) and the pressure of family and society (in 1%) were mentioned as the main causes of
choosing medicine field. On the other hand, participants in the qualitative part of the study didn't have a
good outlook for the professional status of general practitioners and some of them believed that continuing
studies in medicine field is more difficult than other fields. In the quantitative part of study, as the age of
participants increased they more asserted that in medical field the possibility of continuing studies, finding
job in good area, and with good income is less compared with other fields.
Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that many students have not adequate awareness toward the
medicine field and in choosing this field they are mostly under the influence of factors such as the pressure
of family and the social prestige of the physicians. Although these aspects were not obvious in the
quantitative part of the study, they were confirmed by all of the participants in the qualitative section of the
study. This fact denotes the importance of qualitative approaches or the combination of qualitative and
quantitative designs. On the other hand, since with increase in the age of students their awareness toward
the future statue of their field improves, it is suggested that admission is not confined to academic criteria
and appropriate meta-cognitive characteristics of applicants are also considered in admitting the students.


Medical Students Choosing Medicine Medicine Tehran University of Medical Science Iran

© 2007, Medical Education Development Center. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.


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