J Korean Med Sci.  2022 Sep;37(37):e277. 10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e277.

Analysis on Students’ Career Preparation in One Korean Medical School: Based on the Relationship and Trend Between Career Maturity and Specialty Indecision

  • 1Department of Medical Education, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
  • 2Department of Medical Education, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


For medical school students, specialty choice after graduation significantly impacts their future doctor life. Several Korean medical schools have made efforts to prepare career development programs. However, career support programs based on the systematic analysis of medical school students’ first to the final year are still lacking. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the students’ career preparation of one medical school in Korea using the Career Maturity Inventory (CMI) and Specialty Indecision Scale (SIS) and to explore the relationship between CMI and SIS variables.
From December 2020 to July 2021, we conducted an online survey of 600 students in years 1 to 4 at Seoul National University College of Medicine. We analyzed the differences between the years of the students through one-way analysis of variance of the CMI and SIS and the relationship between the two instruments by correlation analysis and multiple regression analysis.
A total of 198 students completed the survey. The average scores of the CMI variables tended to increase as the year of study went up, and the confidence score of the 1st year students was significantly lower than that of the 2nd and 4th year students. Although there was almost no consistent decrease by year in the SIS variables, 3rd and 4th year students showed significantly lower readiness scores than 1st year students. Additionally, we found that the CMI variables mostly had a negative effect on the SIS variables.
There is an increasing tendency for career maturity by year of study in Korean medical school students. However, looking at the SIS results, the career concerns vary among the students. Therefore, medical schools can effectively use the SIS to identify the career concerns of students.


Medical Students; Career Choice; Vocational Guidance; Career Maturity Inventory; Specialty Indecision Scale


  • Fig. 1 Boxplots of career variable differences by Korean medical students’ grade levels. (A) Career Maturity Inventory variables by medical students’ grade levels. (B) Specialty Indecision Scale variables by medical students’ grade levels. The colored rectangle indicates the interquartile range. The bold line in the middle is the median values. White diamond-shaped dots in the middle of rectangles are mean values. The horizontal lines are whiskers, showing minimum or maximum values. The small black dots are outliers.

  • Fig. 2 Effect between CMI and SIS variables. The lines between CMI and SIS boxes indicates associations between CMI and SIS variables. Four variables in CMI influence five out of seven variables in SIS, as a result of multiple linear regression analysis.CMI = Career Maturity Inventory, SIS = Specialty Indecision Scale.


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