Psychiatry as a career choice: Perception of students at a private medical college in South India

Jain, Animesh and Kotian, Shashidhar M. and Jain, Rashmi and Joseph, Nitin (2014) Psychiatry as a career choice: Perception of students at a private medical college in South India. Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences, 2 (2). pp. 238-242. ISSN 2321-4848

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Background and Aim: People with mental illness are often subjected to stigma and discrimination. The poor popularity of Psychiatry as a fi eld of specialty has been a global concern. Any preconceived notions, perceptions and formative infl uences among medical students could have strong infl uence on their future choice of career. This study aimed to determine the students’ perception of Psychiatry as career choice and the factors infl uencing their perception and career choice. Subjects and Methods: Following approval from Institutional Ethics Committee and necessary permissions, consenting medical students at a private medical college in Mangalore, India were surveyed using a pilot-tested questionnaire. The responses were compiled and data analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 10. Chi-square test was performed and P < 0.05 was considered signifi cant. Results: Of the 250 participants, 152 (60.8%) were males while 96 (38.4%) were females aged 17-25 years. Only 28 (11.2%) wanted to pursue Psychiatry as a career while 97 (38.8%) considered it as an option although not their fi rst choice. There was no association between gender and completion of Psychiatry postings on the decision regarding Psychiatry as a career. However, an exposure to a mentally ill person had a statistically signifi cant association with Psychiatry as career choice (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Very few students aspire for Psychiatry. Targeted interventions including focused approach and creating an interest during undergraduate posting may inspire more students to take up Psychiatry.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Career choice, India, medical students, psychiatry
Subjects: Medicine > KMC Mangalore > Community Medicine
Depositing User: KMCMLR User
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 09:56
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 09:56

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