Early career choice: An unsuccessful program

W. Dale Dauphinee, Vimla L. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During the 1960s, early educational specialization and increasingly elective curricula were promoted as instructional advances. More recently, early educational specialization has been suggested as a solution to high educational costs and knowledge overload. In 1973 the McGill University Faculty of Medicine introduced a program of early specialization (“streaming”) in the senior clerkship. The streams were: medicine, surgery, psychiatry, and family medicine. The streams emphasized their own clinical areas but not to the exclusion of other subjects. After three years, streaming was disbanded as students chose the medicine stream with increasing frequency. Streaming may have contributed to poorer class performance on licensing examinations. Responses of the students to questionnaires revealed that streaming did not lead to an early career choice and that the students did not use electives to fill in perceived gaps. The students often chose streams independent of career plans. Thus, it was concluded that early specialization did not hold promise as a solution to the issues of educational costs or knowledge overload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-702
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Education
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Early career choice: An unsuccessful program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this