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A decision-tree model of career choice for veterinarians in clinical residency programs

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  • 1 Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify factors that individuals in clinical residency training programs consider when making a choice for or against a career in academic clinical medicine.

SAMPLE

207 veterinarians in clinical residency programs.

PROCEDURES

An online survey was distributed to 1,053 veterinarians participating in clinical residency training programs overseen by organizations recognized by the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties. Results were compiled and decision factors were analyzed by means of principal component analysis to identify latent factors from the set of survey items. These factors were then used to construct a decision tree to predict respondents’ choice of whether to enter academic medicine or private clinical practice.

RESULTS

207 (20%) responses were analyzed. Ninety-three of 194 (48%) respondents reported a desire to pursue a career in academic medicine, and 101 (52%) reported a desire to pursue a career in private clinical practice. Principal component analysis identified 14 items clustered on research, clinical teaching, classroom teaching, and clinical practice. A decision tree was constructed that resulted in an overall accuracy of 82% in predicting a resident's career choice of academic medicine versus private clinical practice. The construct of professional benefits had a negative effect on desiring a career in academic medicine, whereas the construct of professional priorities and having had a positive residency training experience had a positive effect on desiring a career in academic medicine.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Understanding factors that attract and encourage residents who might have an aptitude and interest in academic medicine holds important implications for addressing the shortage of veterinarians entering academic medicine.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To identify factors that individuals in clinical residency training programs consider when making a choice for or against a career in academic clinical medicine.

SAMPLE

207 veterinarians in clinical residency programs.

PROCEDURES

An online survey was distributed to 1,053 veterinarians participating in clinical residency training programs overseen by organizations recognized by the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties. Results were compiled and decision factors were analyzed by means of principal component analysis to identify latent factors from the set of survey items. These factors were then used to construct a decision tree to predict respondents’ choice of whether to enter academic medicine or private clinical practice.

RESULTS

207 (20%) responses were analyzed. Ninety-three of 194 (48%) respondents reported a desire to pursue a career in academic medicine, and 101 (52%) reported a desire to pursue a career in private clinical practice. Principal component analysis identified 14 items clustered on research, clinical teaching, classroom teaching, and clinical practice. A decision tree was constructed that resulted in an overall accuracy of 82% in predicting a resident's career choice of academic medicine versus private clinical practice. The construct of professional benefits had a negative effect on desiring a career in academic medicine, whereas the construct of professional priorities and having had a positive residency training experience had a positive effect on desiring a career in academic medicine.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Understanding factors that attract and encourage residents who might have an aptitude and interest in academic medicine holds important implications for addressing the shortage of veterinarians entering academic medicine.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 44 KB)

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Dr. Furr (martin.furr@okstate.edu)