BJPsych Bulletin

Abstract

AIMS AND METHOD

To find out why consultant psychiatrists chose psychiatry as a career. A questionnaire was developed and posted to 87 consultant psychiatrists in substantive posts within a London psychiatric training scheme.

RESULTS

The survey had a response rate of 83% (72 out of 87).The majority of consultants (n=40) chose psychiatry as a career after leaving medical school. The most important reasons cited were empathy with the patient group (36.1%), the interface of psychiatry with the neurosciences (25%), the better working conditions expected in psychiatry (20.8%) and medical school teaching of the subject (19.4%).

CONCLUSIONS

The study highlights the need for recruitment efforts after medical school. The findings also reflect the lasting influence of medical school exposure to psychiatry. Interventions for improving recruitment in psychiatry are suggested. The under-recruitment of British medical graduates is masked by overseas recruitment into the specialty.

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