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Med Educ. 1987 May;21(3):235-43.

Doctors' interest in psychiatry as a career.


Fifty pre-registration housemen were interviewed to elicit their attitudes towards a career in psychiatry. The doctors were all those in one academic year who were recommended for honours on the basis of their performance during the psychiatry clerkship. Those who gained honours in other subjects as well as psychiatry were unlikely to choose a career in psychiatry. The study indicates that further improvements in the psychiatry clerkship will not improve recruitment. Factors outside psychiatry--the pull to general practice and other specialties and the negative attitudes towards psychiatry expressed by other doctors--are among the major deterrents for young doctors considering a career in psychiatry. Collaborative teaching between psychiatrist, physicians and surgeons during the pre-registration year should encourage recruitment and gradually improve the widely held negative attitudes towards psychiatry.

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