Career choices in preventive and social medicine and other non-clinical specialities among medical students: Bangladesh perspective

South East Asia Journal of Public Health 2011:1:12

SM Moslehuddin Ahmed1; Md. Anwarul Azim Majumdar2; Rezina Karim3; Sayeeda Rahman4, Nuzhat Rahman5

Head and Professor, Department of Community Medicine;
Lecturer, Department of Microbiology;
Uttara Adhunik Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Lecturer;
Associate Lecturer;
Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, Bradford, UK.
Researcher, Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.

Correspondence: Professor SM Moslehuddin Ahmed, Head of the Department, Department of Community Medicine, Uttara Adhunik Medical College, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh. E-mail:

Abstract: The main aims of the study were to identify the career choices in preventive and social medicine and non-clinical specialities along with the intended practice locations of medical students of Bangladesh. First, third and fifth year students of Bangladesh Medical College and Uttara Adhunik Medical College completed a self-reported questionnaire and were asked to choose three long-term choices from the given specialities. A small number of students opted for preventive and social medicine (3%), medical administration and management (3%), and basic medical science specialities. The popular choices among male and female were medical and surgical specialities. More than 67% of respondents wanted to join private services and about 90% chose major cities as practice locations. As the majority of the students intended to specialise in established clinical specialties and subsequently practice in major cities, Bangladesh will suffer a chronic shortage of health personnel in those specialities and in rural areas. Major reforms are needed in medical education and healthcare to attract and retain a health workforce in those fields and to ensure equitable and high quality healthcare for those people who have little to no access to medical services.

Keywords: Career choices, Medical students, Preventive medicine, Public health, Non-clinical, Bangladesh.