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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


VARGAS HUICOCHEA, Ingrid; MUGGENBURG, María Eugenia; PALACIOS, Jorge  y  HEINZE, Gerhard. Medical specialty preferences among undergraduate students of the Faculty of Medicine at UNAM: where is psychiatry?. Salud Ment [online]. 2012, vol.35, n.6, pp.465-473. ISSN 0185-3325.

Introduction In several countries, the number of candidates to enter Psychiatry is diminishing. In Mexico, the kind of factors that influence the preference for a medical specialty and the way the selection tendencies change across the years of the medical career is not well known. In this study we analyzed the specialty preferences in a representative sample of students from different years of Medicine School at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Material and methods Descriptive cross-sectional study. Specialty preferences were assessed in students enrolled in the 2009-2010 school year of the Medicine School through a questionnaire designed expressly for this research. Data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Results A total of 2737 students participated. Most of the students (n = 2634) had already considered a specialty. Preferred specialties were General surgery (n=403, 14.72%), followed by Internal medicine (n=382, 13.96%) and Pediatrics (n=261, 9.54%). On the other hand, Radiology (n=314, 11.47%), Pediatrics (n=280, 10.23%) and Family medicine (n=263, 9.61%) were all specialties that students would not choose. For Psychiatry, there was a greater tendency only among first year students to see it as a choice of specialty. Compared with men (n=114, 11.53%), the percentage of women (n=259, 14.81%) who considered Psychiatry as an option of medical residency was higher. Discussion We could see that Psychiatry is neither the most preferred nor the most rejected specialty among medical students. Unfortunately, misconceptions still prevail around it and they do not favor its selection as a potential option of residency. It would be necessary to strengthen the knowledge about mental health and psychiatry, and to have the teachers promoting it in order to change the trends of selection.

Palabras llave : Psychiatry; medical specialties; medical students.

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