Producing financially literate medical graduates -- a national need for a brighter Pakistan
Objective: To compare the awareness of financial wellness between male and female medical students.Methods: The cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted from February to December 2011 and comprised first year medical students belonging to different medical colleges of Karachi. Students from both genders, aged 19-24 years, belonging to all ethnic groups willing to participate were included. A close-ended questionnaire evaluated aspects of financial wellness, using four-point Likert's scale: never, sometimes, mostly, and always from 0 to 4. Besides, factor analysis was performed to investigate common financial wellness among the participants.Results: Of the total 800 students approached, complete responses were received from 736(92%); 210(28.5%) boys and 526(71.5%) girls. The mean financial wellness score of boys was 8.60±3.04 and that of the girls was 7.61±3.12 (p<0.0005). Greater number of boys 93(44%) set both short- and long-term financial goals compared to 180(36%) girls (p=0.03). Besides, 218(42%) girls confined themselves to the budget compared to 81(39%) boys (p>0.05). More boys 71(34%) were spendthrift (p<0.0001) and 57(27%) preferred to keep their savings in bank accounts compared to the girls (p<0.0001). Overall, boys were better in financial security wellness compared to the girls (p=0.001).CONCLUSIONS: Male medical students exhibited awareness of financial wellness better than girls.