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.
"Irrespective of the educational program and despite verbalized interest in psychiatry, all students at the beginning of their medical training rate the probability of later work in the field of psychiatry as rather low. As it was shown repeatedly that attitudes towards psychiatry improved after teaching units in this subject the variables responsible for this effect need to be identified and applied to medical courses (Guttmann et al. 1996; Sloan et al. 1996). Visible success of psychiatric therapy and active participation in therapy seem to be important factors (McParland et al. 2003). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attitudes of medical students form the basis for medical actions. Because of the specific characteristics of psychiatric patients, positive attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry should be a higher goal in medical education.
We hypothesize that medical students in different educational programs develop different attitudes towards psychiatry.
In a cross-sectional study, students enrolled in different educational programs completed the 'attitudes towards psychiatry' questionnaire (ATP-30). Data concerning experiences in psychiatry, personality traits and socio-demographic variables including gender were also analyzed.
The response rate of students in the PBL-curriculum (n = 61) was >90%, in the traditional curriculum (n = 280) >75%. Attitudes towards psychiatry of male students in the Problem-Based Learning program were equal to the female students' attitudes in both programs. Female students' attitudes in the traditional curriculum reached comparably good results while male students' displayed the worst attitudes. The personality factors 'openness to experience' and 'agreeableness' correlated significantly with positive attitudes towards psychiatry. PBL-students showed significantly more 'openness to experience'.
Educational programs might play a role for the development of attitudes towards psychiatry, especially in male students. Factors influencing enrollment into special educational programs should also have been taken into account. An independent study with a larger number of participants will be required to support these findings.
Medical Teacher 07/2009; 31(7):e303-10. DOI:10.1080/01421590802638048 · 1.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: We sought to examine the attitudesof newly recruited medical students towards psychiatry and otherspecialties to determine what factors influence their career choice options. Method: We surveyed the attitudes of 655 medicalstudents using a 31-item self-report questionnaire. Results: Australian medical students rated theability to help patients as the most important aspect of a specialtyin determining their choice. Attraction to psychiatry was basedon the specialty being interesting and intellectually challenging,and providing a career that promised job satisfaction with goodprospects and enjoyable work. Females expressed a greater interestin psychiatry and were more likely to consider pursuing it as acareer, principally due to a greater interest in the subject matterand a stronger desire for interaction with patients. The least attractiveaspects of psychiatry were its lack of prestige among the medical communityand a perceived absence of a scientific foundation. Conclusion: The attitudes of medical studentscan perhaps be modified and recruitment into psychiatry enhancedby presenting the reality of psychiatry today − namelythe wide range of available therapeutic processes, the predominantlypositive outcomes, the interesting and intellectually challengingnature of the subject and its nurturing and accommodating work environment.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 06/2002; 36(3):416-423. DOI:10.1046/j.1440-1614.2001.00991.x · 3.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to examine the attitudes of newly recruited medical students towards psychiatry and other specialties to determine what factors influence their career choice options.
We surveyed the attitudes of 655 medical students using a 31-item self-report questionnaire.
Australian medical students rated the ability to help patients as the most important aspect of a specialty in determining their choice. Attraction to psychiatry was based on the specialty being interesting and intellectually challenging,and providing a career that promised job satisfaction with good prospects and enjoyable work. Females expressed a greater interest in psychiatry and were more likely to consider pursuing it as a career, principally due to a greater interest in the subject matter and a stronger desire for interaction with patients. The least attractive aspects of psychiatry were its lack of prestige among the medical community and a perceived absence of a scientific foundation.
The attitudes of medical students can perhaps be modified and recruitment into psychiatry enhanced by presenting the reality of psychiatry today - namely the wide range of available therapeutic processes, the predominantly positive outcomes, the interesting and intellectually challenging nature of the subject and its nurturing and accommodating work environment.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 07/2002; 36(3):416-23. DOI:10.1046/j.1440-1614.2002.00991.x · 3.41 Impact Factor
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