Do Medical Students' Attitudes Toward Psychiatry and Their Intention to Pursue Psychiatry as a Career Change During Psychiatric Attachment?

AUTHORS

Niloofar Khajeddin 1 , Foroughe Riahi 1 , Hajar Hoseyni 1 , Sakineh Izadi 2 , * , Mhammad Salehi Veysi 3

1 Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Graduate student of clinical psychology, Ahvaz Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz, Iran

3 Behbahan industrial University, Iran

How to Cite: Khajeddin N, Riahi F, Hoseyni H, Izadi S, Salehi Veysi M. Do Medical Students' Attitudes Toward Psychiatry and Their Intention to Pursue Psychiatry as a Career Change During Psychiatric Attachment?, Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci. 2012 ; 6(1):53-61.

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: 6 (1); 53-61
Published Online: June 30, 2012
Article Type: Original Article
Received: March 03, 2011
Revised: November 09, 2011
Accepted: March 12, 2012

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Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of medical students toward psychiatry and their intention to pursue psychiatry as a career; and to determine if they change after psychiatric attachment. It also examined the relationship between the students' characteristics and their attitudes in details.

Methods: Pre and post-surveys using Likert-type scales were conducted versus 106 medical students of Ahwaz Jondishapour University who entered psychiatric attachment between spring 2007 and spring 2010. They completed a demographic form and an "attitude toward psychiatry" questionnaire with two excess questions which measured their intention to pursue psychiatry as a career in future.

Results: The majority of students appeared to have favorable attitudes before the attachment which improved during the course; but they didn't show significant change in their intention to pursue psychiatry as a prospective career. There was a significant correlation between age and change in attitudes. Also the career intention was significantly correlated with their attitudes.

Conclusion: The study confirms previous reports that training can change students' attitudes toward psychiatry, but contrasting with them suggests that negative attitudes are not likely to be the main cause of the low career intention to psychiatry. Thus, teaching psychiatry can get the students rid of their negative attitudes but is not enough to encourage them to pursue psychiatry as a career. The authors suggest it is based on poor opportunities for postgraduates in the field and social stigma attached to psychiatry, which needs further studies.

Declaration of Interest: None.

Citation: Khajeddin N, Riahi F, Salehi VeysiM, Hoseyni H, Izadi ñMazidi S. Do Medical Students' Attitudes Toward Psychiatry and Their Intention to Pursue Psychiatry as a Career Change During Psychiatric Attachment? Iran J Psychiatry Behav Sci 2012; 6(1):53-61.

Keywords

Attitudes Career choice Clinical clerkship Medical students Psychiatry

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