, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 35-40
Date: 09 Jan 2014

The Junior-Year Psychiatric Clerkship and Medical Students’ Interest in Psychiatry

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The authors present results for a 5-year period, from 1994 to 1998, of medical students’ interest in specializing in psychiatry after the junior-year psychiatric clerkship and their actual decisions to specialize in psychiatry. The student-reported survey results, NRMP matching data, and internal house-staff records showed that students rotating through an outpatient setting for their psychiatric clerkship reported significantly greater interest in specializing in psychiatry than students rotating through the emergency room, a children’s hospital, or inpatient or consultation/liaison setting. Of the factors examined in this study, the site of the clerkship and the rotation time-of-year were not associated with the choice of psychiatry as a specialty, whereas the strongest predictor of eventual specialization in psychiatry was post-clerkship attitudes.

The authors thank the medical students who completed surveys, Dr. Geoff Curran for his helpful statistical review, and Dr. Sidney H. Weissman for his consultation about the current status of research in this area.