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Attitudes toward psychiatry among students entering medical school


Malhi, GS and Parker, GB and Parker, K and Carr, VJ and Kirkby, KC and Yellowlees, P and Boyce, P and Tonge, B, Attitudes toward psychiatry among students entering medical school, ACTA Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 107, (6) pp. 424-429. ISSN 0001-690X (2003) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1034/j.1600-0447.2003.00050.x


Objective: To survey the attitudes of Australian medical students to determine their views about the relative attractiveness of psychiatry as a career compared with other specialities, and against findings from a North American study. Method: We surveyed 655 first-year medical students attending six Australian Universities. Results: Responses indicated that Australian medical students view psychiatry as distinctly less 'attractive' than other career options, as reported in the North American sample. In comparison with other disciplines, psychiatry was regarded as more interesting and intellectually challenging, but also as lacking a scientific foundation, not being enjoyable and failing to draw on training experiences. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that psychiatry has an image problem that is widespread, reflecting community perceptions and the specialist interests of medical students on recruitment. If psychiatry is to improve its 'attractiveness' as a career option, identified image problems need to be corrected and medical student selection processes re-considered.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Kirkby, KC (Professor Kenneth Kirkby)
ID Code:28100
Year Published:2003
Web of Science® Times Cited:72
Deposited By:Psychiatry
Deposited On:2003-08-01
Last Modified:2004-06-21

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