Attitudes toward psychiatry among Irish final year medical students.
ABSTRACT This study investigated the attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry, both as a subject on the medical curriculum and as a career choice. Three separate questionnaires previously validated on medical student populations were administered prior to and immediately following an 8-week clinical training programme. The results indicate that the perception of psychiatry was positive prior to clerkship and became even more so on completion of training. On completion of the clerkship, there was a rise in the proportion of students who indicated that they might choose a career in psychiatry. Attitudes toward psychiatry correlated positively with the psychiatry examination results. Those that intended to specialise in psychiatry achieved significantly higher examination scores in the psychiatry examination.
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ABSTRACT: The psychiatry clerkship forms part of the core curriculum of medical schools worldwide and provides psychiatric educators with an ideal opportunity to positively influence students. The aim of this paper is to systematically review literature on the impact of the psychiatry clerkship to determine the effect on attitudes towards psychiatry and to psychiatry as a career. A systematic review was undertaken. The following key search words were used to search a number of electronic databases: medical student/s, attitude/s, psychiatry and clerkship. Studies published in the English language from 1990 to the present were included. Studies were included if they were based on a pre-/post-design, i.e. the same students must have participated in the study both before and after the clerkship. Twenty-six studies from 19 countries were identified for the review. Sixteen studies reported an overall improvement in attitudes towards psychiatry post-clerkship, and ten found no change in attitudes. In terms of career choice, nine studies reported an increase in the number of students interested in psychiatry as a career post-clerkship, nine found no impact on career choice and, in eight studies, it was not assessed. A number of positive and negative factors regarding the clerkship were identified. Overall, the psychiatry clerkship has a positive impact on students' attitudes towards psychiatry, but does not improve interest in psychiatry as a career option. For those students particularly interested in psychiatry, the challenge is to maintain their enthusiasm post-clerkship. Charismatic teachers, mentorship and stigma reduction may be effective strategies. Future research needs to more clearly identify specific components of the clerkship that are viewed favorably by students.Academic Psychiatry 01/2014; 38(1). DOI:10.1007/s40596-013-0017-3 · 0.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective: The study was to examine the changes in attitudes towards psychiatry and mental illness among Chinese medical students during their psychiatry clerkship training. Methods: The Attitudes Towards Mental Illness (AMI) and the Attitudes Towards Psychiatry-30 (ATP-30) questionnaires were administered to 325 fourth-year Chinese medical students before and after they completed an 8-week psychiatry clerkship training. Results: After the clerkship training, there was a significant improvement in attitudes towards psychiatry and mental health as reflected by the total scores on ATP-30 (103.4 ± 8.6 versus 111.8 ± 9.6, p < 0.001) and AMI (58.9 ± 6.3 versus 64.1 ± 6.6, p < 0.001). The proportions of students who showed positive attitudes to psychiatry and mental illness were significantly increased on most of the items on ATP-30 and AMI after rotation (p's = 0.027). Although there was a significant change after training, the percentage of the students who would consider psychiatry as their future medical specialty was still on a low level (6.5% versus 11.4%, before versus after rotation, p = 0.028). Conclusions: The results of our study suggested that psychiatry clerkship training may improve medical students' attitudes towards psychiatry and mental illness, but its influence on medical students' consideration to choose psychiatry as a future medical career is limited. The students who did not consider psychiatry as a future career held less positive attitudes to psychiatrists, psychiatric patients and the treatment.The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 01/2014; 47(3):241-254. DOI:10.2190/PM.47.3.e · 0.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective Graduate entry medical students’ views of psychiatry may differ from those of school leavers. This study hypothesised that (i) exposure to a psychiatry attachment is associated with a positive change in attitudes towards psychiatry in both graduate entry and non-graduate entry students, (ii) graduate entry students exhibit a more positive attitude to psychiatry compared to non-graduate entry students and (iii) graduate entry students are more interested in a career in psychiatry than non-graduate entry students.Methods In this study 247 medical students (118 females and 129 males) completing their psychiatry rotation were invited to complete questionnaires examining career choice, attitudes to psychiatry and career attractiveness for a range of specialties including surgery, medicine, general practice and psychiatry before and after their psychiatry attachment. Questionnaires were distributed prior to commencement of their attachment and redistributed on the final day of the attachment.Results Of the 165 participants in the study, 75 students entered medicine via the traditional route (without a primary degree), 49 entered via the graduate entry programme and 41 had a primary degree. Overall, medical students displayed positive attitudes towards psychiatry. However, while there was an improvement in attitudes towards psychiatry and the career attractiveness of psychiatry on completion of the rotation, no differences were found between graduate and non-graduate entry students. Psychiatry and general practice had lower ratings for career attractiveness than other specialities. No significant changes were found in the first and second choice of specialty.Conclusion Our results show that improvements in attitude and career attractiveness do not necessarily correlate with increased choice of psychiatry as a specialty. Graduate entry has been considered a possible opportunity for increasing recruitment in psychiatry but our results suggest that this may not be the case. Follow-up studies are required to determine whether career attractiveness correlates with future career choice.Irish journal of psychological medicine 12/2013; 30(04):245-254. DOI:10.1017/ipm.2013.49