Factors that Motivate High School Students of Generation Z in Northeast Thailand to Attend Medical School

Document Type : Short Communication


Department of Medicine, Sakonnakhon Hospital, Thailand



Background: High schools are increasingly dominated by students from the new generation known as Generation Z (Gen Z). This study aimed to investigate why Gen Z students choose to study medicine and how they perceive their career futures.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study has a descriptive and analytical design and was conducted using the available sampling method on fourth-sixth-grade high school students in Sakon Nakhon town and surrounding regions in upper northeast Thailand. A total of 74 students voluntarily enrolled in the study. The information was gathered throughout the 2023 academic year. They received a researcher-made questionnaire containing 33 questions about the demographic and motivational factors. The collected data were analyzed using Stata MP 14.0 software by the t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Results: The students were aged 15 to 19 (average: 17.0±0.914 years), with 12 males (16.2%) and 62 females (83.8%). Most students were from outside the municipality (n=57, 77%). Of the total participants, 68 (93.1%) students were in grades 5 and 6. They were well-motivated to attend. Male students were more professionally motivated than females (4.75±0.178 vs. 4.46±0.096, P=0.004) and paid more attention to economic, social, and environmental aspects (3.88±0.598 vs. 3.79±0.636, P=0.003). No significant difference was observed in the personal aspect (4.17±0.419 vs. 4.07±0.305, P=0.675), and curriculum and institution aspects (4.70±0.084 vs. 4.43±0.102, P=0.841) between the two sexes.
Conclusion: In contrast to earlier generations, Gen Z students representing the rural area of Thailand who wish to pursue medicine have higher levels of intrinsic drive, benevolence, and performance readiness. Due to the limitation of samples, the results may not be generalized to other populations.