Money, lifestyle, or values? Why medical students choose subspecialty versus general pediatric careers

Dale A. Newton, Martha S. Grayson, Lori Foster Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Although there are many published studies on factors associated with medical student career choice, few are specific to pediatric careers, and even fewer address the choice between general and subspecialty pediatric training. Fourth-year medical students surveyed at 2 schools reported their demographics, anticipated future income, the factors influencing their career choice, and their anticipated career. This study included the subset of 337 students planning pediatric careers. Results indicated that marital status, anticipated income, and career values are associated with pediatric career plans. Specifically, married students were more likely than unmarried students to pursue general pediatric careers (P <.01). Compared with students planning subspecialties, those intending to pursue general pediatric careers anticipated lower incomes ($110 906 vs $135 984; P <.001) and rated lifestyle, comprehensive patient care, and working with the poor as more important (P <.05) when choosing a career. Students planning subspecialty pediatric careers placed more value (P <.05) on prestige, income, and research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Career choice
  • Income
  • Lifestyle
  • Medical students
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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