Prompted by the recruitment problem facing psychiatry, the authors
investigated the influence of factors before and during medical school on
choice of psychiatry. A questionnaire was completed by 392 of the 1982
graduates from 114 United States medical schools who entered a psychiatric
training program in 1982. College courses, work experience, and experience
with someone having a psychiatric disorder were the most positive "before"
factors; the clinical psychiatric elective, the psychiatrist-patient
relationship, inpatient experiences during the psychiatric clerkship, and
control over practice hours were the most positive "during" factors.