[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to compare the medical students' attitude towards psychiatry before and after psychiatry clerkship, and to examine the association of choosing psychiatry as a future career with some personal characteristics.
In a self-controlled, quasi-experimental study, all of the medical students entering the psychiatry clerkship in three major medical schools of Iran located in Tehran (Tehran, Shahid Beheshti, and Iran University of Medical Sciences) were asked to participate anonymously in the study on the first and the last 3-days of their psychiatry clerkship. From 346 invited 4th-5th year medical students, 225 (65%) completed anonymous self-report questionnaires before and after a 4-week psychiatry clerkship.
Positive response to choose psychiatry as a career was seen in 13.3% and 18.3% before and after psychiatry rotation, respectively. However, the difference was not statistically significant; about one-quarter of the students were turned on to psychiatry and 25% were discouraged during the clerkship. Individual pair wise comparisons revealed significant improvements only in two out of 13 measured aspects of psychiatry. Seventeen out of 38 (47.7%) students who identified psychiatry as the career of choice or strong possibility reported that one of their family members or close friends' mental illness had an impact on their choice. Those students who considered psychiatry as the strong possibility claimed that they are more interested in humanities (OR = 2.96; 95% CI: 1.17, 7.49), and playing a musical instrument (OR = 2.53; 95% CI: 1.15, 5.57).
It may be concluded that exposure to psychiatry clerkship could influence medical students' opinion about psychiatry positively, or negatively. Personal characteristics and individual interests of students may play an important role in choosing psychiatry as their future career.
Iranian journal of psychiatry. 03/2013; 8(1):37-43.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES The study aimed to assess 1) the attitudes of medical students in the sixth and seventh years (known as interns in Iran) toward psychiatry as a career choice, and 2) the degree of attractiveness of psychiatry as a career choice, with regard to various defined aspects, before and after an undergraduate psychiatry internship (similar to the medical school psychiatry rotation in the United States, but mandatory in Iran) in three major medical schools in Tehran, the capital of Iran. METHOD Sixth- and seventh-year medical students (locally called interns, N=347) at Tehran, Shahid Beheshti, and Iran Universities of Medical Sciences were consecutively invited to complete anonymous self-report questionnaires designed to assess their perceptions of careers in psychiatry before and after internship in psychiatry wards. Also, students evaluated psychiatry in terms of the factors that reflected the degree of attractiveness of this specialty. RESULTS Positive responses toward choosing psychiatry as a career were seen in 18.8% before and 20.0% after psychiatry rotation. No significant differences were observed in the positive responses before and after psychiatry internship. The students' opinions changed to a more attractive degree in terms of only 3 out of the 13 defined aspects. There was also no significant difference in the total score on attractiveness of psychiatry before and after the psychiatry internship. CONCLUSIONS The study indicated that undergraduate psychiatry internship might not induce more students to consider psychiatry as a possible career. The present pattern of psychiatry education in Iran seems not to positively affect most aspects of medical students' attitudes toward psychiatry.
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