The circumstances under which medicine is practised have changed considerably in the past few decades and this together with the alternative prospects available for doctors on the labour market, has resulted in ever more of them leaving the profession. Aim: The aim of our complex study was an analysis of the professional socialisation. In this study is medical students' views regarding their staying in a medical career or leaving it and the relationship with other elements of becoming a doctor are described. Methods: The study was carried out with a self-administered questionnaire with 503 general medical students randomly selected from two Hungarian medical schools. Depending on their opinions regarding the advantages of staying in the profession or leaving it, the medical students were divided into two groups (career stayers) - 57,5% of the students feel sure that, they will stay in the profession; (possible career leavers) - 42,5% represented those students who were not sure if they wanted to work as doctors in the future. We analysed the similarities and differences between the two groups regarding their career socialisation. Results: A significant difference was revealed between the two groups regarding the strength of their dedication to the profession. The medical students indicated that their decision as of leaving or staying with medicine is not conditioned by objective factors (for example: origin, financial status), but it is conditioned by subjective factors, like sense of vocation. Conclusions: Our results can contribute to shaping of a better professional identity during training, as well as to a better understanding of job abandoners.
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