Impact of Psychiatry Clerkship Rotation in Attitudes Towards Mental Illness and Psychiatry as a Career Among Medical Students.

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HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine


attitudes, career choice, clerkship, medical students, mental illness stigma, psychiatry education








BACKGROUND: Stigma associated with mental illness (MI) permeates many professions, including healthcare. Recognizing and correcting bias is critical in delivering impartial and beneficial healthcare for all patients. Early educational interventions providing exposure to individuals with MI have shown to be effective at reducing MI stigma. The primary aim of our study was to assess the impact of a psychiatry clerkship on attitudes to MI. A secondary aim was to determine if the psychiatry clerkship influenced medical students' perceptions of psychiatry as a career.

METHODS: A cohort of third-year medical students in Florida was invited to complete an online survey before and after participating in their first 4-week-long psychiatry clerkship during the 2021-2022 academic year. The voluntary, anonymous survey consisted of the Attitudes to Mental Illness Questionnaire (AMIQ) and a 3-item questionnaire on interest and knowledge in psychiatry. The Wilcoxon Sign-Rank test was used to determine statistical significance (

RESULTS: Among 39 invited students, 22 participated before (56.4%), and 23 participated after their psychiatry rotation (59.0%). Overall, there was a statistically significant increase in the perceived level of general interest in psychiatry (

CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that a psychiatry clerkship provided a positive exposure to the field, enhanced medical students' overall interest in psychiatry, and positively impacted medical students' attitudes towards MI.


The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest. Drs Blum and Villalba are employees of HCA Florida Aventura Hospital, a hospital affiliated with the journal's publisher. This research was supported (in whole or in part) by HCA Healthcare and/or an HCA Healthcare affiliated entity. The views expressed in this publication represent those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of HCA Healthcare or any of its affiliated entities



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