Public Health as a Career Option: Postgraduate Students’ Perspective

Ravinder Kumar, Amarjeet Singh, Surender Nikhil Gupta

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, postgraduate medical education, community medicine