Article

Familiarity breeds respect: attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry following a clinical attachment

Discipline of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.
Australasian Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 0.6). 08/2010; 18(4):348-53. DOI: 10.3109/10398561003739612
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this paper was to examine the influence of a clinical attachment in psychiatry on medical students' attitudes to psychiatry as a specialty and potential career.
Medical students at Sydney Medical School were surveyed following an 8-week clinical attachment in psychiatry. Secondary analyses sought to identify associations with variables such as age, gender and level of clinical experience as a medical student.
Following a clinical attachment in psychiatry, 80% of students rated their attitude to psychiatry as more positive. Approximately 32% rated themselves as likely or very likely to choose a career in psychiatry. No differences were seen with respect to gender, age or stage of training. The quality of the teaching, enthusiasm of the clinical teachers, the holistic approach and scientific basis of psychiatry were cited by students as factors influencing attitudes.
The clinical rotation in psychiatry is a significant factor influencing medical student attitudes towards psychiatry.

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