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Br J Psychiatry. 1983 Apr;142:361-5.

Who's for psychiatry? United Kingdom medical schools and career choice of psychiatry 1961-75.


The medical schools of origin were identified in 1229 psychiatrists who qualified in the United Kingdom in the years 1961-75. The group was defined operationally as those who had entered for the preliminary test of the membership examination of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. From 1966-75 only 4 per cent of doctors opted for a career in the specialty. There are wide discrepancies between medical schools in the proportion of their graduates who enter psychiatry. The most likely reasons for this have to do with differences in student selection, the models of psychiatry put forward, the enthusiasm of teachers and the career pull from other specialties, notably general practice. A number of suggestions which might help to improve recruitment to psychiatry are put forward.

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