• Asociación entre la religión y la intención de optar por la especialidad de psiquiatría en estudiantes de medicina de 11 países de Latinoamérica

      Mayta-Tristan, Percy; Calizaya Gallegos, Carlo (Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC)PE, 2016-02-08)
      Importance: The worldwide scarcity of psychiatrists makes the identification of the factors associated with the intention to choose this specialty an important issue. Psychiatrists are the doctors with the lowest rates of religious affiliation. However, whether religious affiliation is a factor associated with choosing this specialty has not been studied. Objective: To evaluate the relationship between religious affiliation and the intention to choose psychiatry as a specialty among medical students in 11 Latin American countries. Design, setting and participants: A cross-sectional, multi-sited study that included 8308 first- and fifth-year students at 63 medical schools in 11 Latin American countries between 2011 and 2012. Main outcome and measures: Intention to pursue psychiatry as a specialty over other specialties (yes/no); religious affiliation (without: atheist/agnostic; with: any religion). Results: A total of 53.6% of the participants were women, and the average age was 20.4 (s.d. 2.9) years. A total of 36% were fifth-year students, and11.8% were not affiliated with any religion. Only 2.6% had the intention to choose psychiatry, whereby the highest percentage was among students in Chile (8.1%) and the lowest among students in Mexico (1.1%). It was found that those who had no religious affiliation had a higher probability of reporting the intention to become a psychiatrist [OR: 2.92 (95%CI: 2.14-4.00)] after adjusting for demographic, family, academic as well as personal and professional projection variables. Conclusions and relevance: There is a strong connection between not having a religious affiliation and the intention to be a psychiatrist. According to this logic, interventions could be implemented to incentivize those students who practice a religion to become mental-health professionals as well as other interventions to increase the probability that those who are not affiliated with a religion choose the specialty. However, the possible factors that influence this phenomenon must be evaluated in greater depth, ideally through longitudinal research.
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