Sci45: The development of a Specialty Choice Inventory

Gale, Rodney and Grant, Janet (2002). Sci45: The development of a Specialty Choice Inventory. Medical Education, 36(7) p. 659.



Objective: To devise a valid career selection instrument to help doctors in training choose from a range of specialties that match their attributes and aspirations and to help selection interviewers focus on the key issues pertaining to the suitability of candidates for particular training opportunities.
Design: A psychometric instrument of 130 4-response choice items was developed to match individual personal and professional preferences to possible career specialty choices. The development process involved semi-structured interviews with consultants in 35 specialties, a national postal survey of consultants in 45 specialties, factor analysis of the results, design of the pilot instruments, testing on 450 senior house officers (doctors in basic specialist training within 2–5 years of leaving medical school), and further item analysis to derive the final instrument. A scoring system and software were developed to indicate the best and worst fit specialties for the respondent.
Participants: The participants were hospital consultants, general practitioners and senior house officers (SHOs) in basic specialist training.
Outcome measure: The successful construction of a valid and accessible career choice instrument (Specialty Choice Inventory/Sci45).
Conclusions: This project has yielded a psychometrically valid computer- or paper-based instrument that can be used by doctors at any stage of training to assist in career choice. It can be used as part of the selection process, for careers guidance, for analysis of career problems, for research or to validate a particular range of career options.

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