Motivational Profiles and Motivation for Lifelong Learning of Medical Specialists

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (Quarter 2, 2018) van der Burgt, Stéphanie M.E.; Kusurkar, Rashmi, A.; Wilschut, Janneke, A.

New research out of the Netherlands examined whether medical specialists have different motivational profiles. In addition, the study sought to determine whether the profiles suggest differences in motivation for continuing professional development. As part of the quantitative study, every medical specialist working at five Dutch hospitals — an academic hospital, two large merged teaching hospitals and two affiliated teaching hospitals — received an online questionnaire that included the 19-item validated Multidimensional Work Motivation Scale and the 14-item revised Jefferson Scale of Physician Lifelong Learning. A total of 193 out of 1,591 (12.2 percent) medical specialists completed the questionnaire — a response rate the researchers say is "reasonable" for this very busy population and were categorized by specialty and divided into three groups; surgical, nonsurgical and supportive. The researchers identified four motivational profiles of medical specialists: high autonomous and moderate controlled (HAMC) motivation, moderate autonomous and moderate controlled (MAMC) motivation, moderate autonomous and low controlled (MALC) motivation, and high autonomous and low controlled (HALC) motivation. Differences in years of experience, gender and type of specialization were observed on scores of the various motivation types. For example, specialists younger than age 50 scored higher for autonomous motivation, while specialists with experience of fewer than 15 years scored higher on controlled motivation. According to the authors, the field of specialty also appears to play a role — with most specialists with a surgical specialization were in the HALC profile and most nonsurgical specialties found in the MAMC profile. "The finding of four motivational profiles could provide more guidance when it comes to the required environment or formats to stimulate AM and lifelong learning in medical specialists," the researchers conclude.

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