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Objectives: The number of family physicians in Oman is far below that recommended by the World Health Organization. This study aimed to determine factors influencing junior doctors’ choice of a career in family medicine. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between March and June 2018 and targeted applicants to Oman Medical Specialty Board residency programmes during the 2018–2019 academic year. Applicants were grouped according to their choice of either family medicine (n = 64) or other specialities (n = 81). A self-administered questionnaire was utilised to compare the applicants’ sociodemographic characteristics, factors influencing their choice of career and their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality traits. Results: A total of 52 family medicine and 43 other residency applicants participated in the study (response rates: 81.3% and 53.1%, respectively). Most family medicine applicants were female (86.5%), married (65.4%) and resided in rural areas (73.1%); moreover, 19.2% were ≥30 years of age. Overall, emphasis on continuity of care, opportunity to deal with a variety of medical problems, the ability to use a wide range of skills and knowledge, early exposure to the discipline, opportunity to teach and perform research and the influence of family or friends were important factors in determining choice of a career in family medicine. Moreover, the MBTI analysis revealed that family medicine applicants were commonly extroverted-sensing-thinking-judging personality types. Conclusion: Knowledge of the factors influencing career choice among junior doctors may be useful in determining future admission policies in order to increase the number of family physicians in Oman.
Keywords: Career Choice; Internship and Residency; Medical Specialty; Family Practice; Family Physicians; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; Oman.