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dc.contributor.authorTurner, Emma
dc.contributor.authorAitken, Emma
dc.contributor.authorRichards, Gareth
dc.date.accessioned2022-01-07T16:48:36Z
dc.date.available2022-01-07T16:48:36Z
dc.date.issued2021-10
dc.identifier.issn2158-2440
dc.identifier.other10.1177_21582440211050389
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/332353
dc.description.abstract<jats:p> There is a higher than chance representation of autistic people and people with elevated autistic traits in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries. Medical students, despite studying a STEM subject, have lower autistic traits than other STEM students. Medicine is heterogenous, covering technique-oriented specialties (e.g., surgery) with little patient interaction, person-oriented specialties (e.g., pediatrics), and general practice. We present an online survey in which 502 UK university students (medicine, n = 344; STEM, n = 94; non-STEM, n = 64) reported their study area and career aspirations and completed the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a quantitative self-report measure of autistic traits. Our main findings were that medical students had significantly lower AQ scores than other STEM ( p &lt; .001, d = 0.614) and non-STEM students ( p &lt; .001, d = 0.874), and that medical students aiming to pursue technique-focused career paths had significantly higher AQ scores than medical students aiming to pursue person-oriented career paths ( p = .009, d = 0.318). Each of these effects remained statistically significant after adjusting for alpha inflation. The findings of this study corroborate those of previous research reporting a link between autism and STEM; they also provide evidence that autistic traits are a predictor of medical students’ career ambitions, with those students with high AQ scores being more likely to pursue technique-focused (as opposed to person-focused) roles. This may be informative for developing and optimizing the strengths of individuals with differing levels of autistic traits. </jats:p>
dc.languageen
dc.publisherSAGE Publications
dc.subjectautism
dc.subjectautistic traits
dc.subjectSTEM
dc.subjectmedicine
dc.subjectmedical education
dc.titleAutistic Traits, STEM, and Medicine: Autism Spectrum Quotient Scores Predict Medical Students’ Career Specialty Preferences
dc.typeArticle
dc.date.updated2022-01-07T16:48:35Z
prism.issueIdentifier4
prism.publicationNameSAGE Open
prism.volume11
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.79799
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1177/21582440211050389
rioxxterms.versionVoR
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2021-12-23
dc.contributor.orcidRichards, Gareth [0000-0003-0233-0153]
dc.identifier.eissn2158-2440
cam.issuedOnline2021-12-23
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2021-12-23
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2021-12-23


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