Factors Affecting the Choice of Psychiatry as a Specialty in Psychiatry Residents in Iran
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the current factors affecting the choice of psychiatry as a specialty and to detect the main factors in their choice.
Method: This descriptive study included 75 first year psychiatry residents in the academic year of 2014/2015. A Likert-type anonymous questionnaire consisting of academic and demographic data with 43 questions, which evaluated the reason for choosing psychiatry as a specialty, was given to the residents.
Results: The participants had a positive opinion about 28 items of the questionnaire, meaning that these items had a positive effect in choosing psychiatry as a specialty (questions with P value less than 0.05 and a positive mean). More than 80% of the residents had a positive opinion about six items of the questionnaire (amount of intellectual challenge, variety of knowledge fields relevant to psychiatry, emphasis on the patient as a whole person, the importance of treating mental illnesses in the future, work pressure and stress of the field during residency and coordinating with the person's life style). The participants had a negative opinion about two items of the questionnaire (questions with a P value less than 0.05 and a negative mean). They included experiencing mental illness personally through relatives or close friends as well as the income in psychiatry. Moreover, 36% of the residents with a more definite opinion mentioned that they chose psychiatry as a specialty because of the limitations in residency exam.
Conclusion: Assistants had a positive opinion about most of the questions and this positive attitude seemed to be an important factor in their specialty choice. However, attending to the preventing factors may increase the selection of psychiatry as a specialty.
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