Factors influencing the choice of anesthesia as a career in a developing country

F. A. Khan, G. A. Hamdani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Career choice in medicine is influenced by several factors. Our aim was to look at reasons for choice of anesthesia as a career in a cohort of doctors applying for the residency training in a university hospital in a developing country. A semi-structured interview form is used in our department and includes a question related to career choice. Each applicant is interviewed by two faculty members independently. All interview forms between 1992 to 2004 were reviewed and the reason for choosing anesthesia was coded in different categories. The sample consisted of 167 applicants and 334 forms. There were 29 females and 138 males. The mean age of the applicants was 28 years. Sixty two percent chose anesthesia because of general interest and nature of the specialty, 24% of these mentioned had no specific reasons, 17% thought the specialty was intellectually challenging, 8% liked the technical aspect, 5% were interested in physiology and pharmacology, 2% liked the operating room environment, and 6% liked the immediate results. The second major group (36%) cited the reason as better economic opportunities. Sixteen percent were influenced by friends or relatives in their choice. Twenty six percent chose anesthesia primarily because of their interest in critical care, pain management or emergency management. Our data indicates that selection of career in anesthesia in our county is strongly related to the nature of specialty and future employment opportunities. A significant number were influenced by family and friends. This pattern is different from that reported from Australia and United States.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalMiddle East Journal of Anesthesiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesia: health manpower
  • Workforce


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