This study analyses whether there is a relationship between a psychiatry placement during the UK Foundation Programme and appointment to psychiatry training. A survey was distributed to all foundation year 2 doctors in the UK to determine how many have exposure to psychiatry before specialty applications and whether such exposure correlates with choosing psychiatry as a career.
The study showed that 14.6% of foundation doctors had exposure to psychiatry prior to specialty applications. Of these, 14.9% chose psychiatry as a career in contrast to only 1.8% of those who did not have psychiatry exposure (χ 2 P = 0.0008; risk ratio 8.19).
This study adds weight to calls to increase the proportion of psychiatry posts in the Foundation Programme as part of a broader strategy to improve recruitment. To answer this question categorically, we suggest a prospective cohort study looking at how attitudes and career preferences change with exposure to psychiatry posts.
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