How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Impacted the Perceptions and Motivations of Pre-Health Students in Minnesota and Wisconsin
Lenertz-Lindemer, Lisa Y.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
MetadataShow full item record
The United States has an aging and unhealthy population, and the world faces a continuous threat of emerging infectious diseases. Given these challenges, it is critical undergraduates continue to pursue careers in health care and we maintain a strong health care workforce. Past pandemics have presented both significant challenges and served as a source of motivation for doctors and nurses. In this phenomenological study, the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the motivations of pre-health undergraduates and their attitudes and concerns about working in health care were examined. Twenty pre-health undergraduates and two undergraduates interested in a career in biomedical research participated in semi-structured interviews. The majority of the pre-health students have been interested in a health care career for many years, and none of them have altered their career plans due to the pandemic. When asked about their motivation level, three of the participants noted that although their career choices have not changed since the start of the pandemic, they are at least somewhat more motivated to become a health care worker, and one student noted being much more motivated. A few students noted some hesitancy about working in health care in the future but that the hesitancy is not strong enough to persuade them to choose a different career path. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic was not a significantly inspiring event nor a deterrent for pre-health students and has provided reassurance for some students that they are pursuing the right career path for them.