Caroline Olsson is coordinator for widening participation and equal treatment at KI.
In 2019 she defended her PhD-thesis "Medical doctors’ specialty choice – in relation to personality, cultural capital and social background".
The aim of the thesis was to obtain a deeper understanding of the processes that precede medical doctors’ specialty choice and to investigate how factors such as personality, cultural capital and social background have bearing on that choice.
The thesis contains four substudies. The first two studies were conducted with quantitative methods, whereas studies III and IV were conducted with qualitative methods.
This thesis concludes that medical doctors’ specialty choice is a long-term, complex and sometimes contradictory process in which many factors are considered. These dimensions include personal characteristics such as personality traits, social background and the formation of habitus as well as characteristics of patient relations and the type of medicine. In addition, positive and negative encounters with the healthcare system increase or decrease the likelihood of choosing a particular specialty. Finally, perceived status and prestige are central to understanding the attractiveness of different specialties.