The influence of perceived risk of exposure to human immunodeficiency virus on medical students' planned specialty choices

Keith E. Loring, Cameron S. Crandall, Gabor D. Kelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this report is to determine the influence of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic on medical students' training and career plans through a prospective, anonymous self-administered survey of 10 Likert-scaled (1 strongly agree to 5 strongly disagree) responses to statements assessing attitude toward patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), adequacy of knowledge and experience with HIV, and influence of HIV on career choices. The study was done at a major AIDS referral university teaching hospital. The participants were first-through fourth-year medical students in spring 1990. A 72% (of 451 students) response revealed that both surgery and emergency medicine were perceived as high risk of exposure specialties. Students indicated an overall willingness to care for HIV-positive patients (mean, 2.54) and a general adequacy of knowledge and experience (mean 2.54). The AIDS epidemic has had little influence for training, future career, and practice locations (mean, 4.06). Responses differed by class year. The later class years were more willing to care for HIV patients (P < .001) and indicated more knowledge and experience with HIV (P < .001). Influence on career, training and practice location choices were without class trend. In contrast to some studies, this group of medical students had relatively positive attitudes toward patients with HIV and were not particularly influenced by the AIDS epidemic regarding career choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1993

Keywords

  • HIV
  • attitudes
  • medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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