What Do Final Year Medical Students Understand by the Concept of Recovery? A Descriptive Qualitative Study
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OBJECTIVE: Traditional teaching in psychiatry does little to address recovery concepts. The aim of this study was to evaluate the incorporation of a recovery-focused teaching program for medical students in psychiatry. METHODS: Recovery, as understood by medical students who had participated in a recovery-focused teaching program, was assessed by thematic analysis of recovery-focused assessment reflections. RESULTS: Six major themes emerged from the recovery reflections from final year medical students are as follows: (1) recovery as a person-centered approach, (2) the need for social integration, (3) non-diagnostic framing of mental illness, (4) tensions between the medical model and personal recovery, (5) a patient's willingness to engage with mental health services, and (6) the development of a positive sense of self. CONCLUSIONS: A recovery teaching program was associated with students expressing knowledge of recovery principles and positive attitudes towards people with experience of mental illness. Psychiatric placements for medical students may benefit from a recovery focus.
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