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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 117

Withering before the Sowing? A Survey of Oman's 'Tomorrow's Doctors' Interest in Psychiatry

1 Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
2 Department of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman, Sultanate of Oman

Correspondence Address:
S Al-Adawi
Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat
Sultanate of Oman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19034834

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Objective: This study investigated the attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry, both as a subject in their medical curriculum and as a career choice. Three separate domains were elicited: (i) merit, competency and status; (ii) perceived attitude and attributes toward psychiatry and psychiatric services and (iii) treatment. Materials and Methods: The 26-item scale Das and Chandrasena Questionnaire was administered prior to and immediately following an 8-week clinical training program. Results: Results indicate that the perception of psychiatry was positive prior to clerkship and became even more so upon completion of the training. However, there was a significant drop in the proportion of students who indicated that they might choose a career in psychiatry. Conclusion: This is consistent with other studies suggesting that perception of psychiatry is enhanced following a clerkship but this does not translate into psychiatry as a career intention. This finding is highlighted in light of the increasing magnitude of the number of people affected with mental disorders in a developing country like Oman but with no parallel development in psychiatric services.

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