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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-36

Reasons for pursuing psychiatry as a career: A qualitative study of future psychiatrists from India

Department of Psychiatry, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Priya Sreedaran
St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/AMH.AMH_2_18

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Context: Despite extensive research on the attitudes of medical students toward psychiatry in India as well as worldwide, the actual reasons due to which medical graduates finally select psychiatry for their future careers is still unclear. Aims: To explore the lived experiences of postgraduate psychiatry students pertaining to their reasons for choosing psychiatry for future specialization. Settings: In an Indian medical college general hospital psychiatry setting. Methods and Materials: A qualitative study using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with postgraduate psychiatry students. Statistical Analysis: Content analysis was used to identify direct and latent themes and develop a model. Results: Major themes underlying the reasons for choosing psychiatry are categorised into candidate related factors, medical college related factors, those related to process of Indian postgraduate medical selection, factors relating to psychiatry as a subject and social factors. Conclusion: The interaction between potentially interested medical under-graduates, their experiences of psychiatry during medical college along with the current system of postgraduate medical selection plays a major role in medical graduates pursuing psychiatry. Key Message: In order to improve future psychiatry recruitment rates in India, the quality of undergraduate psychiatry teaching should be improved. Professional psychiatry organizations should systematically engage with interested medical under-graduates and try to participate in the postgraduate selection process.

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