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To examine the effect of taking an elective psychiatry and literature
course during the first year of medical school on performance in the
later mandatory general psychiatry curriculum. Class members were
surveyed for baseline characteristics at the time of their admission to
medical school. Following completion of their fourth year, average grades
in psychiatry were calculated and results compared for those who did and
those who did not take the course. Multiple regression analysis was used
to assess the effects of baseline characteristics that were significantly
different between the groups.
Students who took the course had statistically significant
(t = −3.34, P <0.001) higher
grades in fourth year psychiatry. They had lower admission interview
scores (t = −2.15, P <0.05) and
reported less academic stress (t = −9.55,
P <0.01) before taking the course.
Literature is an effective medium through which to teach medical students
psychiatry as it can lead to a greater understanding of the topic.
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