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Table 6 Percentages of doctors whose first choice of long-term career was for ophthalmology and other careers, who specified each factor as influencing their choice of long-term career a great deal: graduates of 1993–2002

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

  First choice of long-term career
Factor influencing career choice 'a great deal' Ophthal mology Other surgery Other careers excluding GP GP
  % (n) % (n) % (n) % (n)
   Year One     
Domestic circumstances 15.5 (46) 7.9(189) 13.7 (986) 37.7(1319)
Hours/working conditions 60.7 (181) 17.4(414) 35.2(2546) 73.7(2597)
Future financial prospects 29.4 (87) 19.0(453) 10.1(728) 15.7(552)
Career & promotion prospects 28.6 (85) 26.8 (639) 25.0 (1803) 16.5(580)
Self-appraisal of own skills/aptitudes 42.1 (125) 50.9 (1212) 49.7 (3582) 46.3 (1625)
Advice from others 29.4 (87) 16.2(383) 16.6(1199) 16.3(570)
Experience of chosen subject as a student 47.5 (141) 49.7 (1187) 46.1 (3336) 36.9(1296)
A particular teacher/department 28.5 (84) 38.3 (914) 29.6 (2135) 13.4(469)
Inclinations before medical school 11.1 (33) 16.8 (401) 13.7 (992) 14.8 (519)
Experience of jobs so far 33.4 (99) 62.1(1483) 50.8(3678) 48.4(1703)
Enthusiasm/commitment: what I really want to do 69.5 (205) 75.1 (1789) 65.0 (4661) 59.2 (2070)
   Year Three     
Domestic circumstances 20.6 (26) 10.5 (103) 17.6 (718) 48.8(1073)
Hours/working conditions 66.4 (85) 23.0(226) 39.5(1619) 81.7(1815)
Future financial prospects 25.2 (32) 19.6 (193) 8.9(364) 22.7 (502)
Career & promotion prospects 16.5 (21) 26.4 (260) 24.4 (998) 22.8 (502)
Self-appraisal of own skills/aptitudes 47.7 (61) 48.2 (471) 51.9 (2121) 50.0 (1102)
Advice from others 24.6 (31) 17.9 (175) 16.5 (671) 16.6 (366)
Experience of chosen subject as a student 40.6 (52) 29.0 (286) 26.3(1076) 20.8(459)
A particular teacher/department 25.0 (21) 38.7 (244) 30.3 (797) 11.1(159)
Inclinations before medical school 19.5 (25) 14.9 (146) 12.2 (501) 14.8 (327)
Experience of jobs so far 48.0 (61) 74.4(733) 68.5(2806) 54.2 (1198)
Enthusiasm/commitment: what I really want to do 78.4 (98) 71.5 (702) 65.3 (2663) 56.5(1245)
   Year Five     
Domestic circumstances 37.8 (65) 18.5(215) 29.5 (1562) 64.4(2153)
Hours/working conditions 70.5 (122) 24.9(290) 45.9(2432) 85.4(2858)
Future financial prospects 21.4 (37) 17.1 (200) 8.1(432) 17.3 (580)
Career & promotion prospects 20.8 (36) 27.1 (316) 25.0 (1330) 19.8 (664)
Self-appraisal of own skills/aptitudes 51.5 (88) 57.4 (671) 57.2 (3045) 51.3 (1719)
Advice from others 20.3 (35) 17.4 (203) 14.2 (754) 10.7(359)
Experience of chosen subject as a student 30.2 (52) 26.2 (307) 22.1 (1175) 17.1(573)
A particular teacher/department 12.8 (11) 37.2(241) 24.8 (664) 5.2 (89)
Inclinations before medical school 8.7 (15) 12.2 (143) 9.9 (529) 12.6 (423)
Experience of jobs so far 52.3 (90) 76.3(893) 68.2(3635) 52.1 (1749)
Enthusiasm/commitment: what I really want to do 79.8 (138) 84.0 (983) 75.0 (3992) 59.9(2013)
††Financial circumstances whilst training 2.0 (1) 5.2 (14) 5.0 (72) 7.3 (62)
††Organisation of training programme 16.0 (8) 22.3 (60) 29.9 (428) 27.2 (232)
††Inability to secure qualifications 6.3 (3) 1.5 (4) 2.1 (29) 2.5 (21)
  1. Year One uses data from the 1993, 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2002 cohorts, Year Three from the 1993, 1996 and 2002 cohorts, and Year Five from the 1993, 1996, 1999 and 2000 cohorts.
  2. This statement was not presented to graduates of 1996 in their third year after graduating, or the graduates of 1993 and 1996 in their fifth year after graduating.
  3. †† These three statements were only presented to the 1993 graduates in their fifth year after graduating.
  4. Excluding these statements, the smallest number of respondents to any statement in Years One, Three and Five respectively was for those choosing ophthalmology 295, 126 and 171, for other surgical specialties 2366, 978 and 1165, for other specialties excluding GP 7167, 4068 and 5287 and for GP 3495, 2199 and 3343.
  5. In each row, where percentages for the three specialty choices other than ophthalmology differ significantly from the corresponding percentage for ophthalmology, a bold underlined percentage indicates p < 0.001 and bold alone indicates p < 0.01.