Health career orientation of Oregon high school students

Nancy Elder, Anita Taylor, Content Elizabeth Anderson, Robin Virgin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Because a shortage of physicians for the rural United States persists, it is important to better understand why individuals from rural areas consider careers in medicine. This study assessed and compared rural and urban high school students' interest in careers in medicine. Methods: Students attending presentations given by medical students about health care careers completed a questionnaire given at high schools between 1991-1994. This questionnaire assessed interest in health and medical careers and self-perceived capability to pursue a medical career. Results: A total of 924 students attended the presentations and returned questionnaires. Approximately 33% of students expressed an interest in some type of health career. Related to choosing such a career were being female, coming from an urban area, and having had a previous talk about a health care career. Among the 13% of students considering becoming a physician, only being from an urban area or having had a previous talk were related to this choice. Rural students who had received previous talks were more likely to consider health care and medicine careers. Conclusions: Socializing rural high school students to health care and physician careers via structured talks and personal encouragement may increase the number of rural students interested in such careers and help alleviate the shortage of rural health care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-111
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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