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Acad Psychiatry. 2003 Winter;27(4):260-8.

Factors affecting medical student career choice of psychiatry from 1999 to 2001.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Finch University of Health Sciences, the Chicago Medical School, North Chicago IL, USA.



The proportion of students matching into psychiatry (PMP) at each medical school results from a complex interplay between extrinsic (e.g., national trends, geographic region) and intrinsic factors (e.g., the quality of psychiatric education). The goal of the study was to learn the extent to which regional and local extrinsic factors (and one intrinsic factor) influenced PMP at medical schools in the U.S. from 1999 to 2001.


The authors obtained data about these factors from deans of student affairs, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), American Medical Association (AMA), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Harvard University's HealthSystem Consortium.


The best predictor of a school's PMP is the PMP of the prior year for that particular school. Local and regional extrinsic factors were not significantly associated with PMP. There was a modest inverse correlation between PMP and the proportion of international medical graduates (IMGs) in psychiatry residency.


The authors infer that intrinsic factors are most important for recruitment, and they make recommendations for addressing these factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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