Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 335–338 | Cite as

Medfest: the Effect of a National Medical Film Festival on Attendees’ Attitudes to Psychiatry and Psychiatrists and Medical Students’ Attitudes to a Career in Psychiatry

  • K. AhmedEmail author
  • D. M. Bennett
  • N. Halder
  • P. Byrne
Column: Media



The authors proposed that a national film festival organized by psychiatrists could change attendees’ views toward psychiatry and psychiatrists positively and increase the numbers of medical students considering psychiatry as a career.


Medfest held events at nine UK universities in 2011. The program consisted of short films (The Family Doctor, Shadowscan, Beards & Bow Ties) and panelist discussions. Data were gathered using an anonymous “before and after” questionnaire.


A total of 450 attendees across all sites returned 377 feedback forms (84 % response rate). Views of psychiatry and psychiatrists changed for the better for 42 % (98 % of those who answered the question) and 40 % (96 % of those who answered the question) of all respondents, respectively. Respondents’ views were significantly more likely to change for the better than for the worse toward both psychiatry (p < 0.001) and psychiatrists (p < 0.001). Post-event, 46 % of the 232 medical students that attended were more likely to consider a career in psychiatry (48 % of those who answered the question).


A multicenter film festival organized by psychiatrists was associated with more positive attitudes to psychiatry and psychiatrists and an increase in students considering psychiatry as a career. The festival is now an annual event, continuing to expand.


Film Film festival Psychiatry Recruitment 



The authors would like to thank South London & Maudsley Charities, Royal College of Psychiatrists, and other organizations that have supported Medfest, the 2011 organizing committee: Alice Lomax, Steven Birrell, Rory Conn (also 2012 lead), Paul Emmerson, Stephen Ginn, Roxanne Keynejad, Catriona Mellor, Daniel Sherwood, Meinou Simmons, Megan Fisher (2013 lead), Alexander Langford (2014 lead), and all other psychiatric trainees, medical students, and panelists who have contributed to the success of Medfest.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest and there was no funding source for the study.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryLondonUK
  2. 2.University of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  3. 3.Manchester UniversityManchesterUK
  4. 4.Homerton University HospitalLondonUK

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