Motivations of medical students towards psychiatry: A perspective from Turkey

Sakarya D., Camsari U. M., Coskun B.

INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PSYCHIATRY, vol.25, no.4, pp.399-405, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier


Recruitment in psychiatry has been an ongoing challenge worldwide; Turkey is no exception. In this article we have reviewed the issue from multiple aspects. Negative opinions on psychiatry among medical students have been associated with various matters, such as problems with scientifi c soundness, stigma, prestige and financial incentives. It has been reported that these negative opinions could be reversed by clinical exposure, improved knowledge base and increased affiliation with the field. Unfortunately, reversed attitudes do not have permanency. Considering that there has not been any study focusing on recruitment problems in Turkey, we attempted to provide a perspective by reporting the results of our study conducted with Turkish medical students. Attractive qualities of psychiatry were of particular interest. We found that brain research, neuroscience, philosophy, psychotherapy and academics are main areas of interest in psychiatry. We attempt to discuss our findings in view of current literature while noting current setbacks of psychiatry residency training in Turkey. We conclude that there exists a great need for working strategies in order to improve recruitment in psychiatry, addressing the stigma and correcting false beliefs such as treatment inefficacy or compromised scientifi c solidity.