Psychotherapy by Psychiatrists: Why Choose a Bugle When You Can Play the Trumpet?
- Jerald Kay
- Academic psychiatry : the journal of the American…
OBJECTIVE Various factors influence choice of medical specialty. Previous research grouped specialties into controllable lifestyle, primary care, and surgical. This study compared factors influencing individuals to choose psychiatry versus other specialties. METHODS Data came from the 2011-2013 Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire. The authors grouped responses, ranging from no influence to minor, moderate, and strong influence, into psychiatry and controllable lifestyle, primary care, and surgical specialties and analyzed the data using one-way analysis of variance. RESULTS The analyses included 29,227 students, of which 1329 (4.5%) elected psychiatry; 10,998 (37.6%), controllable lifestyle specialties; 12,320 (42.2%), primary care specialties; and 4580 (15.7%), surgical specialties. Students choosing psychiatry reported less influence of competitiveness, student debt, and salary expectations than those choosing controllable lifestyle and surgical specialties (p < 0.0001) and more influence of work/life balance than those choosing primary care and surgical specialties (p < 0.0001). They reported less influence of family expectations than those choosing controllable lifestyle specialties (p < 0.0001). They reported more influence of fit with personality than controllable lifestyle, primary care, and surgical specialties (p < 0.004). CONCLUSIONS Students entering psychiatry do not fit the traditional categories of controllable lifestyle, primary care, and surgical profiles, but fall between controllable lifestyle and primary care specialties. Recruitment efforts may need to address this different pattern of influences.