The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1445-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
There is no consensus regarding the optimal content of the undergraduate psychiatry curriculum as well as factors contributing to young doctors choosing a career in psychiatry. Our aim was to explore factors which had influenced psychiatry trainees’ attitudes towards mental health and career choice.
Qualitative in-depth interviews with 21 purposively sampled London psychiatry trainees analysed using the Framework method.
Early exposure and sufficient time in undergraduate psychiatry placements were important in influencing psychiatry as a career choice and positive role models were often very influential. Integration of psychiatry with teaching about physical health was viewed positively, although concerns were raised about the potential dilution of psychiatry teaching. Foundation posts in psychiatry were very valuable in positively impacting career choice. Other suggestions included raising awareness at secondary school level, challenging negative attitudes amongst all medical educators, and promoting integration within medical specialties.
Improvements in teaching psychiatry could improve medical attitudes and promote recruitment into psychiatry.
Additional file 1: Topic guide - Topic/interview guide developed for conducting all interviews. (DOCX 19 kb)12888_2017_1445_MOESM1_ESM.docx
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