The aim of the current study was to evaluate a short review course in psychiatry conducted at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology medical school and any change in student interest in a career in psychiatry.
Students were asked to complete a general psychiatric knowledge questionnaire before and immediately after the course. They were also asked to rate their attitude toward psychiatry as a career. The same questionnaire was readministered 1 month later.
The average results on the knowledge test pre-course was 52% (N=129) and post-course was 78% (N=122), constituting a 50% increase in knowledge for the average student. The proportion of students showing considerable interest in a psychiatric career increased from 19% pre-course to 32% post-course. At 1-month follow-up, the average result for the knowledge test was 76%, and considerable interest in psychiatry as a career was noted at 21%.
Results indicate that the course significantly improved core psychiatric knowledge and that this improvement was retained after 1 month. An initial increase in interest in psychiatry as a career decreased almost to baseline at 1-month follow-up. Study limitations include the use of the same questionnaire at each stage knowledge was tested and the absence of a control group.