Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Medical students' attitudes to psychiatry at the end of the clinical curriculum

D. G. Wilkinsona1 c1, B. K. Toonea1 and S. Greera1

a1 Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College Hospital, London


The significantly favourable changes in medical students' general attitude to psychiatry and intention to specialize in the subject, which we found after an 8-week psychiatric clerkship, were maintained one year later, at the time of the students' M.B., B.S. examinations. However, of 18 specific attitudes to psychiatry, only one changed significantly overall – fewer students agreed that ‘psychiatrists are held in poor regard by most other doctors’. Contrary to other reports, these preliminary findings suggest that a psychiatric clerkship may be followed by stable attitudes and intent towards the specialty.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr D. G. Wilkinson, General Practice Research Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF.