The aim of this study was to determine the attitudes of medical students in the UK towards different specialties as career options and to ascertain the position of psychiatry among these specialties. Students belonging to a London medical school completed a questionnaire.
Among the 301 students who completed the survey, psychiatry was the least popular clinical specialty. The study revealed that the students had a number of misconceptions about psychiatry. A family history of mental illness was significantly associated with choosing psychiatry as a career.
Considering the unpopularity of the specialty, it is likely that recruitment of psychiatrists will continue to be a major problem for the foreseeable future. Measures need to be taken to dispel the misconceptions about psychiatry.
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