Background: Medical research dynamics are complex, and stressors such as the COVID-19 pandemic make them even more so.
Aims: The purpose of this article was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on medical students' willingness to become doctors and their goals. It also investigated how COVID-19 affects students' mental health and well-being.
Methods: A literature-based anonymous online survey was created to assess students' future career goals, willingness to become doctors, and various aspects of their mental health. There was descriptive and univariate regression analysis.
Results: Males enrolled in medical school at a higher rate than females. After the pandemic, a minority of students changed their initial specialty choice, but there was no statistical significance in their willingness to become a doctor (p =0.45). Only students who had long COVID-19 symptoms showed significant variation in their sleep patterns (p =0.01). Female students had significantly higher anxiety levels than male students, with 11.21% (CI95%:6.34 - 18.74) experiencing severe anxiety.
Conclusion: Enrolling in medical school is a deeply personal decision that should not be taken lightly. Workplace conditions should be improved in order to attract the next generation of health-care providers. It is thus recommended that medical schools consider establishing a pre-entry course to inform and expose potential medical students to the working lives of doctors. All medical schools must ensure that mental and psychological support is easily accessible and non-stigmatizing.