Factors affecting satisfaction with training programmes and the choice of anaesthesiology as a career among trainee physicians in Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study

  • Rahel Tilahun
  • Elizabeth T. Drum
Keywords: anaesthesia workforce, anaesthesia crisis, anaesthesiology residency training, Ethiopia


Background: The number of physicians applying for anaesthesiology residency training in Ethiopia has increased in recent years but remains inadequate to meet the country’s rising demands. We identified factors influencing career choices among physician anaesthesiology trainees in Ethiopia and described the challenges physicians face during training.

Methods: Semistructured, self-administered questionnaires were distributed to all anaesthesiology residents in 2017 in Ethiopia. The questionnaire addressed demographic factors, exposure to the field of anaesthesiology during undergraduate training, reasons for the choice of anaesthesiology as a specialty, the teaching and working environment, and future career plans.

Results: In total, 45 anaesthesiology residents from 3 medical schools participated in the study (mean age, 27.5 years; male, 68.9%). The majority of residents (57.8%) had undertaken an anaesthesiology attachment during undergraduate training. Many residents (57.8%) selected anaesthesiology as their first choice for specialty training, primarily because they felt it held good career prospects (62.2%). An appreciable minority of residents (24.4%) were not happy with their choice of specialty, and all residents expressed dissatisfaction with some aspect of their residency training. Common reasons for dissatisfaction related to the quality of the teaching programme (60.0%), the working conditions of the hospital (65.9%), and the unavailability of teaching and equipment and consumables (91.1%). Most residents (66.7%) reported they had inadequate exposure to patients who required anaesthesiology, and many residents (44.4%) reported that consultants were not available for consultation during working hours.

Conclusions: While most anaesthesiology residents in Ethiopia are happy with their specialty, many were dissatisfied with key aspects of their residency training. The results of this survey provide valuable insights into aspects of residency training that could be improved to increase its quality and improve the satisfaction of residents.

Original Research