Undergraduate psychiatric education has an important role in developing psychiatric knowledge, decreasing stigma towards mental illness, and promoting psychiatry as a career choice. The attitudes and beliefs of medical students towards psychiatry have not been well understood, especially in non-western countries. To clarify this aspect, we have conducted a cross-sectional study between India and Japan. This study, conducted at two centres, one each in India and Japan, used a semi-structured questionnaire to evaluate the attitudes and beliefs of third-year medical students towards mental illness and psychiatry; such as emotions experienced dealing with psychiatric patients, aetiology and treatment of psychiatric disorders, and psychiatry as a career choice. A total of 79 medical students from India and 77 from Japan participated in the present study. Significant differences were observed in the emotions experienced by the medical students while dealing with psychiatric patients. Most medical students (> 90%) from both study sites favoured psychiatrists for treatment of psychiatric illness. Psychiatry as a carrier choice was significantly related to the nationality of the medical students. The findings of the current study provide insight in to the attitudes of third-year medical students from India and Japan towards psychiatric patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health