, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 309-323
Date: 16 Nov 2006

Current Issues in Undergraduate Psychiatry Education: The Findings of a Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Background

Recruitment into psychiatry is correlated with the quality of undergraduate medical school teaching programmes and with a commitment of major resources to teaching students. There is an extensive literature related to attitudes towards psychiatry but less on the learning and teaching of psychiatry.

Aims

To identify the current issues in undergraduate psychiatric education in the UK for lead teachers at UK medical schools.

Method

Semi-structured telephone interviews with psychiatric leads at UK medical schools. A total of 26 participants were interviewed from 23 different medical schools.

Results

Three key areas of problems were identified: issues related to teaching personnel (e.g. conflict of time), teaching resources and impact of teaching on recruitment (e.g. role models; stigma). Eight potential solutions to address the problems were identified and these included improving the quality of teaching, improving the perceived value of the discipline and recruiting teachers.

Conclusion

There are several problems facing teachers in psychiatry but the teachers are also able to identify solutions which need support from both education and health if they are to be implemented.

Nisha Dogra, BM DCH MRCPsych MA PhD is Senior lecturer and honorary consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Leicester. She was involved in the design and supervision, data analysis for the study and drafted the paper.
Ruth Edwards, BSc is a research associate at the University of Leicester. She was involved in the design of the project, carrying out the interviews, data analysis and reviewing the final version of the paper.
Khalid Karim, MB ChB BSc MRCPsych is Senior Lecturer and honorary consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Leicester. He was involved in the design of the study and reviewing the final draft.
Susan Cavendish, Cert Ed., BSc, PhD is Head of the Medical Education Research Division of the Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Healthcare Workforce Deanery. She was involved in the writing of the paper.