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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2013 Aug;25(4):425-30. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2013.823384.

Exploring the ideas and expectations of German medical students towards career choices and the speciality of psychiatry.

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1
Clinic for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the ideas and expectations of medical students toward their career choices and the speciality of psychiatry. A total of 323 students of the Hannover Medical School filled in a questionnaire about their career choices, preferred medical specialization, factors of influence on career choices and attitude towards psychiatry. The three most important factors of influence appeared to be: (1) work-life balance, (2) flexible working hours, (3) career prospects. Although expectations towards the professional life of psychiatrists were quite positive among the students, there was only a small number of students (n = 53 of 318 respondents, 17%) interested in specializing in psychiatry. Important reasons for choosing psychiatry included personal experience with somatic or mental health issues and practical experience in psychiatry. Most of the students experienced clinical exposure to psychiatry but at a much later period in the curriculum. For a career choice of psychiatry as a speciality it seems to be important to start psychiatric education in medical school early. The positive aspects of the professional life in psychiatry, such as flexible working hours, career prospects and good work-life balance should be more emphasized.

PMID:
24032497
DOI:
10.3109/09540261.2013.823384
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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