The changed circumstances of medical work, raises the question of how socio-economic changes over the last few decades has affected the professional socialisation of medical students. This paper explores the career choice motivations of medical students, as well as some characteristics of the process of making that choice and their effects on professional socialisation. The study was carried out with a self-administered questionnaire with 503 students in general medicine, randomly selected from two Hungarian Medical Schools. More than half of the students contemplated becoming a doctor as early as in their childhood. Their final decision was typically made in high school. Significant differences can be demonstrated in professional socialisation between those individuals identifying with the profession in early childhood and others turning to the profession later. Altruistic motivations were the most significant career choice reasons. In conclusions, the medical career choice must have deeper roots, yielding to an evolutionary psychological analysis as well, one aspect of which is altruism.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.