[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Recruitment of medical graduates into psychiatry has become a growing issue over the last few decades. This paper describes the implementation of an innovative program, based on a Canadian concept, that aimed to promote psychiatry as a career choice to medical students, to immerse them in the 'world of psychiatry', and introduce them to potential mentors. The University of Western Australia Institute of Psychiatry for Medical Students was a week-long program that provided medical students with an opportunity to participate in a diverse agenda of interactive seminars on a range of psychiatric subspecialties and the neurosciences. Students were also able to attend elective sessions and meet registrars and psychiatrists on an informal basis. Lunches and social events were also provided. CONCLUSION: Twenty-one students attended the inaugural Institute. Twenty-seven speakers contributed to the morning seminars and there were 17 clinical elective site visits. Feedback from students was positive and the week was rated highly, both in terms of its organization and from an academic perspective. It is planned to run the Institute annually and, in time, it is hoped that it will increase the numbers of students who choose psychiatry as a career option.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Psychiatric educators need to develop innovative strategies to attract more medical students to psychiatry. In 2008, the University of Western Australia held the inaugural Claassen Institute of Psychiatry for Medical Students. This novel program aimed to increase students' level of interest in psychiatry as a career opportunity.
Students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Questions were rated on a scale of 1 to 10.
Thirty students participated. The average age was 25.5 years and 11 were male. The mean interest and knowledge in psychiatry from baseline to follow-up increased from 7.8 to 8.9 and 5.8 to 7.3, respectively. Mean interest and knowledge in neurosciences increased from 6.9 to 7.7 and 4.3 to 6.2, respectively. Paired t sample tests were significant (p<0.001). Students 'definitely considering' a career in psychiatry increased by 20% overall from baseline to follow-up. Enjoyment and organization of the week were rated highly.
The Institute is an innovative teaching strategy targeted towards medical students. The program increased the level of interest shown by students in psychiatry as a career. The Institute may positively contribute to recruitment of students to psychiatry training programs and it is planned to run it annually.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE The discipline of psychiatry, and psychiatry as a career option, have been negatively regarded by medical students for decades. There is a large amount of literature on attitudes of students and the factors that attract them to and detract from psychiatry. The aim of this article is to systematically review this literature from 1990 to the present time. METHOD The author undertook a systematic review searching a number of electronic databases using the following key words: medical students, attitudes, psychiatry, career. Studies were included in the review if they had been published in an English-language, peer-reviewed journal. Data extracted included year of publication, country where the study was conducted, study design and aim, sample size and response rate, year of study that students were in when they participated in the research, and main results. RESULTS A total of 32 papers from 22 different countries were selected for inclusion; 12,144 students from 74 medical schools were surveyed. A mix of positive and negative attitudes toward psychiatry were identified, and, overall, attitudes were found to be positive. However, psychiatry as a career choice was rated poorly and found to be unpopular for many students. CONCLUSION The studies undertaken to-date have identified and raised awareness of a wide range of negative and positive factors toward psychiatry. In order to encourage more students to consider psychiatry as a career, attention needs to focus more closely on the psychiatry curriculum and the development of innovative teaching strategies. This may overcome the negativity that students express toward psychiatry, improve recruitment rates to training programs, and put psychiatry on a more positive foundation for the future.
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