Original Research

Selective admission policy of medical undergraduates in western China: applicants' real attitudes to the choice of a rural medical career


name here
Hongbo Pei1
PhD, Associate Professor *

Yanyan Sun2 MBBS

ZhengGang Bai3 PhD, Associate Professor

Zhimiao Yu4 MBBS, MBBS

Pu Chang5 MBBS, MBBS

Cuipeng Qiu6 MBBS, MBBS

Jiajia Li7 MBBS, MBBS

Najuan Zhao8 PhD, Lecturer

Yongcong Cheng9 PhD, Associate Professor

Aimin Yang10 PhD, Postdoctoral researcher


1 Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China and The Belt and Road Research Centre of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China

2 School of Public Health, Captial Medical University, Beijing 10069, China

3 Public Affair School, Nanjing University of Science & Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210000, China

4, 5, 7, 8, 9 Institute of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Donggang West Road 199, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China

6 School of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Henan 450001, China

10 School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA

ACCEPTED: 22 March 2018

early abstract:

Since 2010, the Chinese government has been introducing a selective admission policy to recruit rural students for five-year western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine undergraduate education in order to improve the medical services in the rural townships of western China. This study analyzed the selective admission policy in western China from the perspective of medical students' attitudes towards a rural career choice. A cross-sectional survey was conducted and an anonymous questionnaire was used to investigate a sample of medical undergraduates enjoying the selective admission policy. The results indicate that medical undergraduates’ enthusiasm to work in rural areas was very limited in Gansu province, western China. Extrinsic motivation played a more important role in rural career choice than intrinsic motivation. Students' attitudes were affected by socioeconomic and cultural conditions, which determined fulfilling personal and professional environment. The profession majored in and family economic conditions were associated with their self-decision. Further educational intervention should emphasize the students’ humanistic inner quality and recognition of the professional value. Further policy adjustment should be taken into consideration by means of improving social policy system based regional characters and national development strategy.