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Table 2 Balon attitudes towards psychiatry – baseline and follow-up agreement, and significance

From: Impact of a psychiatry clerkship on stigma, attitudes towards psychiatry, and psychiatry as a career choice

  Baseline Follow-up McNemars
Agree (%) Agree (%)
Disagree (%) Disagree (%)
Overall merits of psychiatry
1. Psychiatric research has made good strides in advancing care of the major mental disorders 94 96 NS
6 4
2. Psychiatry is a rapidly expanding frontier of medicine 87 91 NS
13 9
3. Psychiatry is unscientific and imprecise 16 19 NS
84 81
Efficacy
4. If someone in my family was very emotionally upset and the situation did not seem to be improving, I would recommend a psychiatric consultation 83 91 NS
17 9
5. Psychiatric consultation for medical or surgical patients is often helpful 90 93 NS
10 7
6. Psychiatric treatment is helpful to most people who receive it 91 91 NS
9 9
Role, definition and functioning of Psychiatrists
7. Psychiatry is not a genuine and valid branch of medicine 5 4 NS
95 96
8. Most psychiatrists are clear, logical thinkers 93 94 NS
7 6
9. With few exceptions, clinical psychologists and social workers are just as qualified as psychiatrists to diagnose and treat emotionally disturbed persons 22 28 NS
78 72
10. Among mental health professionals, psychiatrists have the most authority and influence 59 68 NS
41 32
11. Psychiatrists are too frequently apologetic when teaching psychiatry 13 7 NS
87 93
12. Psychiatry is too ‘biologically’ minded and not attentive enough to the patient’s personal life and psychological problems 7 9 NS
93 91
13. Psychiatry is too analytical, theoretical, and psychodynamic, and not attentive enough to patient’s physiology 15 14 NS
85 86
Possible abuse and social criticism
14. Psychiatrists frequently abuse their legal power to hospitalise patients against their will 3 5 NS
97 95
15. On average, psychiatrists make as much money as most other doctors 64 68 NS
36 32
Career and personal reward
16. Psychiatry has a low prestige among the general public 52 47 NS
48 53
17. Psychiatry has a high status among other medical disciplines 22 17 NS
78 83
18. Many people who could not obtain a residency position in other specialities eventually enter psychiatry 15 17 NS
85 83
19. Psychiatry is a discipline filled with international medical graduates whose skills are of low quality 5 9 NS
95 91
20. My family would discourage me from entering psychiatry 32 37 NS
68 63
21. Friends and fellow students would discourage me from entering psychiatry 28 35 NS
72 65
22. If a student expresses interest in psychiatry, he or she risks being associated with a group of other would-be psychiatrists who are often seen by others as odd, peculiar or neurotic 30 30 NS
70 70
23. I feel uncomfortable with mentally ill patients 44 16 0.001
56 84
Specific medical school factors
24. Teaching of psychiatry at my medical school is interesting and of good quality 75 93 0.001
25 7
25. During my psychiatry rotation, psychiatry residents were good role models N/A 89 N/A
N/A 11
26. Attending psychiatrists during my psychiatry rotation were good role models N/A 92 N/A
N/A 8
27. Most psychiatrists at my medical school are clear, logical thinkers 93 98 NS
7 2
28. Most non-psychiatry staff at my medical school are respectful of psychiatry 80 85 NS
20 15
29. Although I am interested in psychiatry, no effort was made to encourage my becoming a psychiatrist at my medical school 40 23 0.001
60 77