Public Health as a Career Option: Postgraduate Students’ Perspective

Background: Many students enter in Public Health discipline by default and not by genuine
interest in the subject.
Objective: To explore the views of post graduates students of public health regarding their
career choice.
Material and Methods: Two focus group discussions were done in Post Graduate Institute of
Medical Educational Research (PGIMER), School of Public Health, Chandigarh among MD
(Community medicine) and Master in Public Health (MPH) students. A questionnaire route was
used for the Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Textual analysis was done.
Results: Public health was not the 1st choice of any of the respondents. Many respondents
pursuing MPH course quoted that “…Admission in MPH course is easier in comparison to MD…”
Families of the respondents didn’t approve the career choice of their children. For many
participants, Preventive and Social Medicine (PSM) meant WHO job, international assignments
and good money ahead. Few respondents expect good opportunities for employment and
promotions in government sector after completing MPH.
Conclusion: Both positive and negative attitudes toward the public health discipline were
witnessed among the participants of the study. However more of negative shades were seen. The
image of Public health in family and in medical fraternity needs to be built.
Key words: Public Health; Career options; Post graduate medical education; Community

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