Some decades ago being a medical doctor was characterized unambiguously as a profession that offers help and serves the patients’ needs during medical treatment. In today’s society, this image of the medical profession has been substantially changed. The present paper aims to examine medical career choice motivations and preferences of choosing speciality, in the light of current social and economic changes in Hungary. The study was carried out by using a voluntary, self-administrated, questionnaire among first-year medical students and resident doctors in four medical faculties in Hungary. The career choice motivations of the first-year medical students and resident doctors are similar and match to the traditional health profession career choice motivations. Nevertheless the first-year students consider high income as one of the most important factors. They appear more conscious and more ambitious regarding their future speciality choice. The Hungarian health care system and medical education must be prepared for the presence of students that are aware of the high market value of a medical diploma, have excellent language skills, and consider migration as one main factor in their motivation when choosing a medical profession.
 World Health Organization (WHO), Working Together for Health: The World Health Report 2006. Avalilable online: www.who.int/whr/2006/whr06_en.pdf
 Comission of the European Communuties, Green Paper on the European Workforce for Health, 2008. Avaliable online: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_systems/docs/workforce_gp_en.pdf
 National Higher Educational Centre, Point limits, numbers of applicants and admitted by profession (database). Available online: http://www.felvi. hu/felveteli/ponthatarok_rangsorok/elmult_evek/!ElmultEvek/elmult_evek.php?stat=13 (in Hungarian)
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”.