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Research Article

Vol. 12 No. 1 (2009)

Psychiatry as a career: A survey of factors affecting students’ interest in Psychiatry as a career

  • Mubashir Aslam
  • Tahir Taj
  • Arif Ali
  • Nasira Badar
  • Farzan Saeed
  • Muhammed Abbas
  • Saad Muzaffar
  • Bilal Abid
November 12, 2020


The objectives of this study were to determine the characteristics of medical students and graduates interested in choosing psychiatry as a career and the obstacles in choosing this field of medicine. Two private and two public medical institutes were surveyed from June 2007 to August 2007. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to third, fourth and final year students and to medical graduates doing their internship in these four medical institutes.A total of 909 medical students and graduates participated in the study. Seventeen percent of participants responded positively regarding their interest in psychiatry as a career. Significantly higher proportion belonged to private medical institutes (14% vs. 24%, P-value =0.001). There was no significant difference in reporting interest for psychiatry in regard to age, sex, year in medical school and whether or not the participant had done a psychiatry ward rotation. However significantly higher proportion of participants (22%, n=43) were reporting their interest in the field of psychiatry who had done more than a month long psychiatry ward rotation as compared to those participants (14%, n=54) with less than a month or no psychiatry rotation (P-value=0.01). More students were reporting their interest in psychiatry with a family history of psychiatric illness as compared to without family history (24% vs 16%, P-value=0.03). In conclusion, students and graduates with more than a month long rotation in psychiatry, studying in private medical colleges and with a family history of psychiatric illness were more interested in choosing psychiatry as a career.


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