Explaining the process of choosing clinical specialties in general medical graduates: A grounded theory
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MD, Ph.D. Professor, School of Medical Education, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Ph.D. Candidate of Medical Education, School of Medical Education, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Ph.D. Candidate of Medical Education, School of Medicine, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Community medicine specialist, School of Medical Education, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Online publication date: 2018-07-14
Publication date: 2018-11-18
Electron J Gen Med 2018;15(6):em89
Internationally, the distribution of specialized physicians is a growing concern. The choice of medical specialties is a central issue in attempts to change this problematic situation. The current study aimed to explain the process of choosing clinical specialties in Iran’s medical graduates.

Materials and Methods:
The authors used grounded theory methodology. In 2016-2017, they conducted 14 in-depth, face-to-face, semi structured interviews with a purposive and theoretical sample of 10 medical graduates based on two criteria (those who intended to participate in the medical assistant exam and those who participated in the exam and their test scores had not yet been announced).

After analysis of the interviews, 883 primary codes, 64 subcategories, 14 subclasses, and 4 main categories were obtained. The results of data collection and analysis at four levels by Strauss and Corbin (2008), which led to the theory and model in this field, showed the effectiveness of the process of choosing specialty results from the coordination between three dimensions of study, career, and favorable conditions imagined for the future life that takes place in a supportive environment with a developed welfare system and an inclusive academic culture.

With the help of the findings of such a study, the process and the main elements involved in this process can be determined and the causal relationships and mechanisms can be identified and intervened, which in turn leads to choosing medical specialty in line with the national priorities.

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