Introduction and objective:
The nature of the work of doctors is inseparable from responsibility for human health and life, exposure to many risk factors related to physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial risks, as well as the specificity of the organization of the health care system in Poland. This prompted the authors to ask future doctors, currently students of the penultimate and the final year of medical studies, questions about what is important to them in their future profession and how studies at the medical universities met these needs.

Material and methods:
Identification of skills important for future doctors to perform their profession was conducted in the third quarter of 2020 in the form of an online diagnostic survey on a sample of 442 fifth- and sixth-year medicine students at medical universities in Poland.

The study shows that most students graduating in medicine are satisfied with their choice and intend to work in the profession they have learned. In this study, the responders, on average, felt well prepared theoretically for their future profession, whereas when indicating their practical preparedness, it was much lower. One of the most important skills indicated by students participating in this study was communication with patients.

Overall, the quality of medical studies in Poland is rated very high by the students. Nevertheless, there is a lack of or insufficient time spent on teaching and helping future doctors develop soft skills; therefore, more focus should be placed on this aspect of studies.

Funding source This research received funding from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland under the programme "Regional Initiative of Excellence" 2019 – 2022 The study was also supported by the resources of the Wroclaw Medical University within the task recorded in the SIMPLE system: SUB.Z.260.22.074
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