An online survey was used to examine the attitudes of clinical, academic and trainee psychiatrists on the delivery of undergraduate education and why students are not choosing psychiatry as a career. This paper explores whether attitudes to teaching psychiatry to medical students is a factor in poor recruitment to the specialty.
Overall, 390 psychiatrists completed the survey. All groups were highly committed to psychiatry education, but there were significant differences in attitudes that may have an impact on the delivery of medical student teaching, which in turn may influence recruitment. Five major themes emerged from the survey, the most dominant being stigmatisation of psychiatric patients and professionals by the medical profession. These divergent attitudes to teaching and stigma may be contributing to low levels of recruitment into psychiatry.
Education of the next generation of psychiatrists is a high priority and active measures are needed to increase commitment and enthusiasm in undergraduate education.
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