Medical Students’ Career Choice and Attitudes Toward Psychiatry: Case of the Czech Republic

Abstract

Objective

A survey among medical students of all medical schools in the Czech Republic was conducted to investigate attitudes and views of psychiatry and career choice of psychiatry.

Methods

A Czech version of the Attitudes to Psychiatry Scale (APS) and a questionnaire surveying demographic characteristics and choices of future specialty were distributed to all medical students of eight medical schools in the Czech Republic via the schools’ internal communication systems in the form of an anonymous online questionnaire.

Results

Out of a total of 10,147 medical students in the Czech Republic (academic year 2019/2020), 2418 students participated in the survey (response rate 23.8%). Psychiatry as a non-exclusive career choice was considered by 31.3% respondents; child and adolescent psychiatry was considered by 15.4% respondents. Psychiatry as the only choice was considered by 1.6%, and child and adolescent psychiatry was not considered at all. The interest in both specialties was declining since the first year of study. The status of psychiatry among other medical specialties was perceived as low; students were rather discouraged from entering psychiatry by their families. They did not feel encouraged by their teachers to pursue career in psychiatry despite the fact that they were interested in psychiatry. They also felt uncomfortable with patients with mental illness.

Conclusions

Despite high enthusiasm for psychiatry in the first year of medical school, only a small proportion of medical students consider to choose psychiatry, and especially child and adolescent psychiatry, as a career at the end of medical school.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Mukherjee K, Maier M, Wessely S. UK crisis in recruitment into psychiatric training. Psychiatrist. 2013;37:210–4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Cutler JL, Harding KJ, Mozian SA, Wright LL, Pica AG, Masters SR, et al. Discrediting the notion “working with ‘crazies’ will make you ‘crazy’”: addressing stigma and enhancing empathy in medical student education. Adv Health Sci Educ. 2009;14:487–502.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Curtis-Barton MT, Eagles JM. Factors that discourage medical students from pursuing a career in psychiatry. Psychiatrist. 2011;35:425–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Ay P, Save D, Fidanoglu O. Does stigma concerning mental disorders differ through medical education? A survey among medical students in Istanbul. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2006;41:63–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Magliano L, Read J, Sagliocchi A, Patalano M, D’Ambrosio A, Oliviero N. Differences in views of schizophrenia during medical education: a comparative study of 1st versus 5th-6th year Italian medical students. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2013;48:1647–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Adewuya AO, Makanjuola ROA. Social distance towards people with mental illness amongst Nigerian university students. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2005;40:865–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Janoušková M, Weissová A, Formánek T, Pasz J, Bankovská ML. Mental illness stigma among medical students and teachers. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2017;63:744–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Balon R, Franchini GR, Freeman PS, Hassenfeld IN, Keshavan MS, Yoder E. Medical students’ attitudes and views of psychiatry. Acad Psychiatry. 1999;23:30–6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Farooq K, Lydall GJ, Malik A, Ndetei DM, Bhugra D, Alemu YB, et al. Why medical students choose psychiatry - a 20 country cross-sectional survey. BMC Med Educ. 2014;14:12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Warnke I, Gamma A, Buadze M, Schleifer R, Canela C, Strebel B, et al. Predicting medical students’ current attitudes toward psychiatry, interest in psychiatry, and estimated likelihood of working in psychiatry: a cross-sectional study in four European countries. Front Psychiatry. 2018;9:49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Goldenberg MN, Williams DK, Spollen JJ. Stability of and factors related to medical student specialty choice of psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry. 2017;174:859–66.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Pailhez G, Bulbena A, Coll J, Ros S, Balon R. Attitudes and views on psychiatry: a comparison between Spanish and US medical students. Acad Psychiatry. 2005;29:82–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Winkler P, Mladá K, Janoušková M, Weissová A, Tušková E, Csémy L, et al. Attitudes towards the people with mental illness: comparison between Czech medical doctors and general population. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2016;51:1265–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Winkler P, Csémy L, Janoušková M, Mladá K, Bankovská Motlová L, Evans-Lacko S. Reported and intended behaviour towards those with mental health problems in the Czech Republic and England. Eur Psychiatry. 2015;30:801–6.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Pessar LF, Pristach CA, Leonard KE. What troubles clerks in psychiatry? A strategy to explore the question. Acad Psychiatry. 2008;32:194–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Yakeley J, Hale R, Johnston J, Kirtchuk G, Shoenberg P. Psychiatry, subjectivity and emotion–deepening the medical model. Psychiatr Bull. 2014;38:97–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Yakeley J, Shoenberg P, Heady A. Who wants to do psychiatry?: the influence of a student psychotherapy scheme–a 10-year retrospective study. Psychiatr Bull. Cambridge University Press. 2004;28:208–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Lyons Z, Janca A. Impact of a psychiatry clerkship on stigma, attitudes towards psychiatry, and psychiatry as a career choice. BMC Med Educ. 2015;15:34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Feeney L, Jordan I, McCarron P. Teaching recovery to medical students. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2013;36:35–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Deb T, Lempp H, Bakolis I, Vince T, Waugh W, Henderson C. Responding to experienced and anticipated discrimination (READ): anti -stigma training for medical students towards patients with mental illness – study protocol for an international multisite non-randomised controlled study. BMC Med Educ. 2019;19:41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Funding

This study was supported by the Progres Q35 grant realized at the Charles University.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Miroslava Janoušková.

Ethics declarations

The study was approved by the respective ethical committees of all participating schools.

Disclosure

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

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Motlová, L.B., Janoušková, M., Formánek, T. et al. Medical Students’ Career Choice and Attitudes Toward Psychiatry: Case of the Czech Republic. Acad Psychiatry 44, 751–755 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-020-01311-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Psychiatry
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Undergraduate training
  • Career choice
  • Stigma