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Table 1 Participants’ characteristics and plans regarding specializing abroad

From: Specialty preference and intentions to study abroad of Syrian medical students during the crisis

  Number Percent
Interested in specializing abroad
 Yes 351 78.7%
 No 92 20.6%
 Missing 3 0.7%
Plans after specializing abroadb
 Returning to home country directly after specialization. 68 19.1%
 Working less than 5 years abroad then returning to home country. 88 24.7%
 Working less than 5–10 years abroad then returning to home country. 77 21.6%
 Working more than 10 years abroad then returning to home country. 44 12.4%
 Never return to home country. 79 22.2%
The most important goal of specializing abroadb
 Having a better medical training 143 40.2%
 Having a secured job 116 32.6%
 Acquiring another nationality 29 8.1%
 Having higher income 36 10.1%
 Ability to work in another country 32 9.0%
Important obstacles of specializing abroada
 Costs of travelling. 122 35.2%
 Required exams in foreign country before specializing. 125 36.0%
 Acquiring a visa to the foreign country. 186 53.6%
 Adapting with new communities. 95 27.4%
 Finding good specializing opportunities. 75 21.6%
Do you have any relatives or friends who are living abroad and would help you specializing in the country they are living in?
 Yes 258 57.8%
 No 185 41.5%
 Missing 3 0.7%
Are you encouraged by university professors to specialize abroad?
 Yes 166 37.2%
 No 275 61.7%
 Missing 5 1.1%
Do you have university professors who would help you specializing abroad?
 Yes 68 15.2%
 No 375 84.1%
 Missing 3 0.7%
Does watching your colleagues specializing abroad encourage you to do so?
 Yes 286 64.1%
 No 151 33.9%
 Missing 9 2.0%
About the language of the country in which you plan to specialize
 I wish to specialize in an Arabic-speaking country. 59 13.2%
 I wish to specialize in a non-Arabic speaking country, and I have not learnt its language yet. 245 54.9%
 I wish to specialize in a non-Arabic speaking country, and I am learning its language. 89 20.0%
 I wish to specialize in a non-Arabic speaking country, and I can speak its language fluently. 39 8.7%
 Missing 14 3.1%
Source of information about specializing abroada
 Media (movies, series, websites…). 134 33.3%
 Relatives or friends living abroad. 209 52.0%
 My personal observations while having clinical training abroad. 20 5.0%
 Students who had clinical training abroad. 128 31.8%
 Doctors who are specialized/currently specializing abroad. 155 38.6%
 By comparing between those who specialized in Syria with those who specialized abroad. 129 32.1%
  1. N number of participants who chose the corresponding answer
  2. %: percent of participants who chose the corresponding answer
  3. SD Standard Deviation
  4. achoosing more than one option was allowed
  5. bonly those who were interested in specializing abroad answered the question