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Medical Students’ Attitudes and Views of Psychiatry

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Medical students’ views and attitudes of psychiatry may influence recruitment. A 39-item questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics and balanced positive and negative views of psychiatry was answered by 479 students from four medical schools at the end of their third-year psychiatric clerkship during the 1993–1994 academic year. The students’ attitudes and views of psychiatry were mostly positive. Exceptions were the perceived low respect of psychiatry by other medical disciplines and low salary. The perception of psychiatry among medical students has improved, compared with a similar study done in the 1980s, but the decline in recruitment continues. Students’ views and attitudes of psychiatry do not explain the decline in recruitment into psychiatry.

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The authors thank Frederick S. Sierles, M.D., for his invaluable help and advice and Cynthia Arfken, Ph.D., for help with statistical analysis.

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Balon, R., Franchini, G.R., Freeman, P.S. et al. Medical Students’ Attitudes and Views of Psychiatry. Acad Psychiatry 23, 30–36 (1999).

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