, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 260-268
Date: 10 Jan 2014

Factors Affecting Medical Student Career Choice of Psychiatry From 1999 to 2001

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Objective: The proportion of students matching into psychiatry (PMP) at each medical school results from a complex interplay between extrinsic (e.g., national trends, geographic region) and intrinsic factors (e.g., the quality of psychiatric education). The goal of the study was to learn the extent to which regional and local extrinsic factors (and one intrinsic factor) influenced PMP at medical schools in the U.S. from 1999 to 2001. Methods: The authors obtained data about these factors from deans of student affairs, the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), American Medical Association (AMA), Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Psychiatric Association (APA), and Harvard University’s HealthSystem Consortium. Results: The best predictor of a school’s PMP is the PMP of the prior year for that particular school. Local and regional extrinsic factors were not significantly associated with PMP. There was a modest inverse correlation between PMP and the proportion of international medical graduates (IMGs) in psychiatry residency. Conclusions: The authors infer that intrinsic factors are most important for recruitment, and they make recommendations for addressing these factors.

The authors thank Barbara Barzansky, Ph.D., Eric G. Campbell, Ph.D., Elizabeth Lostumbo, J. Jon Veloski, M.A., and H. Jonathan Polan, M.D., for their assistance.
Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training in San Juan, PR on March 6, 2003; the American Psychiatric Association Meeting in San Francisco, CA on May 21, 2003; and the annual meeting of the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry in Jackson Hole, WY on June 13, 2003.