Denmark is presently experiencing a shortage of psychiatrists with up to 25% of specialist posts vacant, and the National Board of Health estimates that this percentage will increase till 2020. Recruitment of medical students to the psychiatric discipline is thus of utmost importance. In order to increase the number of medical graduates entering psychiatry, the Danish Psychiatric Association carried out its first Summer school August 17-20, 2009 directed towards medical students and newly graduated medical doctors.
The Summer school had recruitment as its ultimate objective and to achieve this, the participants encountered core clinical themes represented by prominent psychiatrists and in some cases enlightened by patients.
Role modelling is an incentive for choice of profession and in order to provide insight in the diversity of psychiatric research, several researchers gave inspiring descriptions of various projects and the process from idea to project completion. As part of this, visits took place to laboratories and research settings.
A third element was the presentation of the diversity of the profession. Career choices from pure research, international work to private practice or employment by drug companies clearly reflected the richness of the psychiatric field.
The Summer school received a highly positive evaluation and will be repeated annually in the coming years.
Participation was free for the approx 30 students thanks to an unrestricted grant from the Lundbeck Foundation.
Copenhagen, 11 September 2009
Anders Fink-Jensen (Chairman)
Marianne Kastrup (Vice-Chairman)
Annette Lolk (Secretary)