Author(s): AlAnsari A, Alsadadi A
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: The attitude of medical students towards psychiatry has been studied extensively in the developed world. The inability to attract medical students to specialize in psychiatry has always been a serious challenge to psychiatric recruitment. OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the attitude of medical students towards psychiatry and identifies associated factors. METHODS: Medical students from years 1, 4 and 7 at the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences (CMMS), Arabian Gulf University (AGU), constituted the study sample. One hundred and twenty two (87.1\%) medical students completed the Attitude Towards Psychiatry-30 (ATP-30) scale and the study questionnaire. RESULTS: The attitude towards psychiatry was moderately positive (mean ATP score = 105.79, SD = 13.34). Twenty two (15.7\%) students selected psychiatry as one of the top three career choices. Fifty five (72.3\%) of the pre-clinical students agreed that teaching at the college is good or acceptable, compared to 11 students (44\%) from the clinical phase. Female, younger and junior students had more positive attitudes than male, older and senior students. Factors such as exposure to material related to psychiatry, having a close relation with psychiatric illness and having a romantic relationship with a psychiatric patient were significantly related to the ATP score. CONCLUSION: The results of the study did not support the hypothesis that the greater the exposure to psychiatry, the higher the ATP. Possible explanations for the low attraction of graduates to psychiatry in spite of the initial high ATP and ways to overcome this problem are discussed.
This article was published in Educ Health (Abingdon)
and referenced in International Journal of Public Health and Safety