Intrinsic motivation and perceived competence among junior doctors in managing ophthalmic disease


  • Deepaysh Dutt Charanjeet Singh Dutt University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Hessom Razavi The University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Sandra E Carr The University of Western Australia, Australia



opthalmology, medical education, motivation, self-determination theory, junior medical officers


Introduction: Perceived competence among junior medical officers (JMOs) in managing ophthalmic disease remains low, and attempts to address this in ophthalmology education often neglect student motivation. This study aims to investigate whether JMOs’ perceived competence in managing ophthalmic patients could be predicted by their levels of motivation while studying ophthalmology as medical students.

Methods: Seventy-one JMOs completed a 7-point Likert scale 34-item questionnaire. Intrinsic motivation as a medical student was measured using the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (IMI), which included autonomy, competence, relatedness, interest and pressure subscales. Perceived competence in managing ophthalmic disease was measured using the Perceived Competence Scale (PCS). Linear regression analysis was used to determine if intrinsic motivation during medical school predicted perceived competence as JMOs.

Results: Mean IMI scores and PCS scores were low, at 59 (out of 133) and 14 (out of 28), respectively. PCS scores were positively correlated with IMI scores (r = 0.61, p < 0.001), competence (r = 0.59, p < 0.001), relatedness (r = 0.49, p < 0001) and interest (r = 0.61, p < 0.001) and negatively correlated with pressure (r = -0.31, p = 0.009) and female gender (r = -0.30, p = 0.011). Linear regression analysis showed that IMI scores (β = 0.79, p < 0.001) significantly predicted PCS scores. Subscale analysis showed that there was significant predictive value in competence (β = 0.32, p = 0.009) and interest (β = 0.39, p = 0.035) for PCS scores.

Conclusion: This study shows that intrinsic motivation of medical students studying ophthalmology is significantly predictive of their perceived competence as JMOs managing ophthalmic disease. These results point to the importance of fostering medical student intrinsic motivation in an effort to improve perceived competence in JMOs.


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How to Cite

Charanjeet Singh Dutt, D. D., Razavi, H., & Carr, S. E. (2024). Intrinsic motivation and perceived competence among junior doctors in managing ophthalmic disease. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 25(2), 53–74.