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BACKGROUND: Medical students' preparedness for clinical practice is well researched, yet little is known on the extent to which students are being prepared for a medical career. This paper reports the construction of a short medical inventory titled eXploring medical sTudents' caReer reAdiness (XTRA) to measure students' career readiness based on Super's theory of career maturity. APPROACH: We designed an instrument consisting of a series of 5-point Likert-scale to identify participants competencies regarding career exploration and planning during their undergraduate studies. The instrument was completed by 348 medical students from 41 universities in the United Kingdom. We examined the validity and reliability of the instrument through Exploratory Factor Analysis, Cronbach's coefficient α and Pearson correlation. EVALUATION: Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed that 16 of the 20-items survey were aligned with the exploration stage of Super's theory: Crystallisation (Career goals), Specification (Career pathways) and Implementation (Career accomplishments). The four items that formed two separate statistical factors were specific to a current medical career in the UK. Internal reliability for Super's factor subscales were acceptable (α = 0.71 to α = 0.81). A significant positive relationship was found between students' overall rating of career readiness and the three factors, indicating construct validity. IMPLICATIONS: The XTRA Inventory is a short instrument with construct and content validity specifically designed to measure career readiness of medical students. Further work on its psychometric properties will help establish this inventory to be used as a guidance and career counselling tool by medical educators and educational institutions in developing career development programmes.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Teach

Publication Date