In the WPA Action Plan 2008-2011, one of the institutional goals is to enhance the image of psychiatry worldwide among the general public, health professionals and policy makers, counteracting some negative messages – often biased by ideological prejudice – which are affecting the motivation of persons with mental disorders and their families to seek for psychiatric advice and help and to adhere to psychiatric interventions, as well as the motivation of medical students to choose psychiatry as a career.
As one of the activities pursuing this institutional goal, the WPA decided to fund an international project aimed to assess the factors facilitating and those hampering the choice of psychiatry as a career by medical students, and to suggest strategies to encourage this choice.
A call for proposals from individuals, departments or societies was issued several months ago. The deadline was June 30, 2009.
Twenty submissions were received. They were evaluated by a committee including M. Maj, R. Alarcon and S. Rataemane.
The project receiving the highest score was the one submitted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK, entitled “International study on student career choice in psychiatry”.
The project is now ongoing, funded by the WPA.