Changes in the attitudes towards psychiatry among Spanish medical students during training in psychiatry

Antonio Bulbena, Guillem Pailhez, Joaquim Coll, Richard Balon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To gain an understanding of the process of recruitment, studying changes in attitudes and views towards psychiatry among Spanish medical students during their fourth academic year. Methods: A 33-item questionnaire was administered to 48 medical students before and after having completed training in psychiatry. Comparative data analysis was carried out using the Wilcoxon test. Results: The comparison showed that there was a reduction in the number of students reporting that "psychiatrists abuse their legal power", that "for most specialists in this area, psychiatry was not their preferred choice" and that "those students interested in psychiatry are regarded as odd or peculiar". However, the view that "psychiatry is an expanding frontier of medicine" decreased among the students. The percentage of students considering psychiatry as a future career rose from 4.2% to 10.4% after training. Conclusions: The students' opinions change with the experience of training in psychiatry and become more realistic. Alongside these changes in attitudes, there is an increase in the proportion of students willing to consider psychiatry as a future career, which suggests that there is no reduction in vocations for psychiatry among Spanish students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005


  • Attitudes
  • Enrollment
  • Recruitment
  • Students


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