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Narrative review of the impact of clinical psychiatry attachments on attitudes to psychiatry

  • Henna Qureshi (a1), Stuart Carney (a2) and Amy Iversen (a3)
Aims and method

Psychiatry in the UK has long-standing issues in recruiting UK-trained doctors. A key potential influence on interest in psychiatry during medical school is the clinical attachment. This narrative review investigates how the clinical experience of psychiatry affects medical students' attitudes towards the specialty.


We identified 107 studies, of which 46 were included. They showed that clinical attachments in psychiatry did result in more positive attitudes towards the specialty and increased career interest. There was inconsistent evidence on whether interest was maintained, with some studies indicating that the increase is transient. Factors which may influence attitudes include attachment setting, duration and student demographics.

Clinical implications

The results suggest a need to actively maintain interest in psychiatry throughout medical school. Research with long-term follow-up and evaluation of schemes to maintain students' interest is needed.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Henna Qureshi (
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This is one of a series of papers on recruitment in psychiatry. See also Archdall et al (pp. 21–24), Oakley et al (pp. 25–29) and Kelley et al (pp. 30–32) published in January and Greening et al (pp. 65–71) published in February.

Declaration of interest


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Narrative review of the impact of clinical psychiatry attachments on attitudes to psychiatry

  • Henna Qureshi (a1), Stuart Carney (a2) and Amy Iversen (a3)
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