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Table 3 Comparing those who chose Ophthalmology with those who chose other careers, percentages and numbers of doctors who specified whether they had definitely, probably or not really made up their minds about their first choice of long-term career, at one (1974–2002), three (1974–2000) and five (1974–1980, 1993 & 1996) years after graduation

From: Career choices for ophthalmology made by newly qualified doctors in the United Kingdom, 1974–2005

  First choice of long term career
Definiteness of choice Ophthalmology Other Surgery Other Careers
  Year One
Definitely 36.0 (169) 36.0 (1403) 26.3 (5257)
Probably 45.4 (213) 47.2 (1841) 49.1 (9833)
Not really 18.6 (87) 16.8 (653) 24.6 (4936)
Total 100.0 (469) 100.0 (3897) 100.0 (20026)
  Year Three
Definitely 68.1 (273) 43.5 (1237) 46.5 (9164)
Probably 23.7 (95) 47.4 (1348) 40.6 (8012)
Not really 8.2 (33) 9.1 (259) 12.9 (2540)
Total 100.0 (401) 100.0 (2844) 100.0 (19716)
  Year Five
Definitely 79.6 (218) 72.0 (1330) 64.8 (9888)
Probably 17.5 (48) 24.4 (450) 29.0 (4422)
Not really 2.9 (8) 3.7 (68) 6.3 (961)
Total 100.0 (274) 100.0 (1848) 100.0 (15271)
  1. The numbers of respondents who did not to answer this question were 4 (Year One), 3 (Year Three) and 1 (Year Five) of those choosing Ophthalmology; 42 (Year One), 13 (Year Three) and 12 (Year Five) of those choosing Other surgical specialties, and 183 (Year One), 491 (Year Three) and 281 (Year Five) of those choosing Other Careers.
  2. Chi-square tests on the percentage making a definite choice: Year One; ophthalmology vs. other surgery χ2 1 = 0.0, p = 1.0, ophthalmology vs. other careers χ2 1 = 22.0, p < 0.001 – Year Three; ophthalmology vs. other surgery χ2 1 = 84.4, p < 0.001, ophthalmology vs. other careers χ2 1 = 72.8, p < 0.001 – Year Five ophthalmology vs. other surgery χ2 1 = 6.6, p = 0.01, ophthalmology vs. other careers χ2 1 = 25.3, p < 0.001