Article Title

Evaluation of the Claassen Institute of Psychiatry for Medical Students


Objective: Psychiatric educators need to develop innovative strategies to attract more medical students to psychiatry. In 2008, the University of Western Australia held the inaugural Claassen Institute of Psychiatry for Medical Students. This novel program aimed to increase students’ level of interest in psychiatry as a career opportunity.

Method: Students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. Questions were rated on a scale of 1 to 10.

Results: Thirty students participated. The average age was 25.5 years and 11 were male. The mean interest and knowledge in psychiatry from baseline to follow-up increased from 7.8 to 8.9 and 5.8 to 7.3, respectively. Mean interest and knowledge in neurosciences increased from 6.9 to 7.7 and 4.3 to 6.2, respectively. Paired t sample tests were significant (p<0.001). Students ‘definitely considering’ a career in psychiatry increased by 20% overall from baseline to follow-up. Enjoyment and organization of the week were rated highly.

Conclusions: The Institute is an innovative teaching strategy targeted towards medical students. The program increased the level of interest shown by students in psychiatry as a career. The Institute may positively contribute to recruitment of students to psychiatry training programs and it is planned to run it annually.


peer-reviewed, career choice, medical students, psychiatric education, recruitment, workforce

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