The Impact of Diaspora-Based Psychiatrists’ Participation in Clinical Teaching in a Lower Middle-Income Country on Interest in Psychiatry Among Medical Students and the Choice of Psychiatry as a Career



The authors assess the impact of Ghanaian diaspora-based psychiatrists’ participation in clinical teaching in Ghana on the attitudes of medical students toward careers in psychiatry.


This quantitative cross-sectional study involved fifth- and sixth-year medical students of the four public medical schools in Ghana. Data were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics.


About half (49.7%) of clinical year medical students in Ghana reported that diaspora-based Ghanaian psychiatrists participated in their teaching during their clinical psychiatry rotation. A significantly higher proportion of medical students who had diaspora-based psychiatrists participate in their clinical training expressed that the depth of clinical teaching (54.4% vs. 45.6%, p = 0.003) and the extent of experience gained during their psychiatric rotations (54.7% vs. 45.3%, p = 0.001) were adequate or somewhat adequate when compared with medical students who did not have diaspora psychiatrists participate in their clinical training. Medical students who had diaspora-based Ghanaian psychiatrists participate in their teaching were significantly more likely to consider careers in psychiatry after their clinical rotation (42.2% versus 25.6%, χ2 = 16.2, p = 0.00).


In a low-resource country with few psychiatrists, the involvement of diaspora-based psychiatrists in the teaching of clinical year medical students has the potential to improve the global experience and attitude of the medical students toward psychiatry.

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The authors are grateful to the 2017/2018 Executive Committee of the Federation of Ghana Medical Students Association for supporting the data collection.


The study was funded by Vincent Agyapong Professional Cooperation.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vincent I.O Agyapong.

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The study received institutional review board approval from the committee on human research, publication, and ethics at the College of Health Sciences at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Agyapong, V.I., Shalaby, R., Agyapong-Opoku, G. et al. The Impact of Diaspora-Based Psychiatrists’ Participation in Clinical Teaching in a Lower Middle-Income Country on Interest in Psychiatry Among Medical Students and the Choice of Psychiatry as a Career. Acad Psychiatry 44, 756–760 (2020).

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  • Medical students
  • Psychiatry
  • Diaspora
  • Clinical teaching