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By use of a postal survey we sought to determine attitudes and beliefs about recruitment to psychiatry. Members of the Scottish Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists were asked to complete a questionnaire asking their views on the importance of various factors in relation to recruitment (n=387).
Response rates were low from non-consultants and we focused on the views of the 212 consultants (55%) who responded. The perceived low status of psychiatry among other doctors and the belief that individuals with psychiatric disorders are difficult to deal with emerged as the two most important factors seen to affect recruitment. Improving undergraduate teaching in psychiatry was deemed important in enhancing recruitment.
Dealing with stigma, within and out with the profession, and improving undergraduate exposure to psychiatry may be important in recruiting doctors to psychiatry.
Through a postal survey we sought to determine the current retirement intentions of consultant psychiatrists working in Scotland. Consultants were asked their likely date of retirement, whether they might return as a locum and what might induce them to retire later.
Full data were returned by 180 consultants. The mean planned age at retirement was 58.0 years. Women intended to retire significantly earlier than men. Most respondents could be persuaded to retire later through changes in services, conditions or job content; only 7% regarded their proposed retirement date as immutable.
Early retirement among consultants is likely to contribute to an even more seriously understaffed service. It is necessary to seek national and individual changes to the factors that give rise to early retirement in psychiatry.
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