Background: Although scoliosis surgery early in life may affect the career choice of the patient in favor of a healthcare field, no study has analyzed this relationship. We investigated the career paths of patients after scoliosis surgery. Methods: A total of 212 patients with scoliosis who underwent corrective surgery at 12–17 years of age were mailed a questionnaire, of whom 98 (mean age at survey: 21.0 ± 1.7, years) responded. Choice of study major was determined by the same questions used in the Japanese national census. Results: Of the 98 patients, 35% chose a career in healthcare compared with 11% of the general population of the same age, based on the national census. Healthcare was the most popular career choice of patients, whereas it ranked fourth according to the national census. Furthermore, 87% of patients reported that their decision to pursue a healthcare-related career was affected by their own medical experiences. Among the healthcare-related occupations, nursing ranked first, accounting for 35% of all healthcare professions chosen by the patients. Compared with patients who chose a non-healthcare career, those choosing a healthcare career decided on their study major at a significantly lower age. Conclusions: One-third of patients with scoliosis who underwent spine surgery chose a career in a healthcare field. Furthermore, an earlier age at the time of making a career decision was a significant factor associated with choosing a healthcare career. These findings suggest that the patients' experiences in the hospital positively affected their future career paths.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine