Medfest: the Effect of a National Medical Film Festival on Attendees' Attitudes to Psychiatry and Psychiatrists and Medical Students' Attitudes to a Career in Psychiatry

K. Ahmed*, D. M. Bennett, N. Halder, P. Byrne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The authors proposed that a national film festival organized by psychiatrists could change attendees' views toward psychiatry and psychiatrists positively and increase the numbers of medical students considering psychiatry as a career.

Medfest held events at nine UK universities in 2011. The program consisted of short films (The Family Doctor, Shadowscan, Beards & Bow Ties) and panelist discussions. Data were gathered using an anonymous "before and after" questionnaire.

A total of 450 attendees across all sites returned 377 feedback forms (84 % response rate). Views of psychiatry and psychiatrists changed for the better for 42 % (98 % of those who answered the question) and 40 % (96 % of those who answered the question) of all respondents, respectively. Respondents' views were significantly more likely to change for the better than for the worse toward both psychiatry (p <0.001) and psychiatrists (p <0.001). Post-event, 46 % of the 232 medical students that attended were more likely to consider a career in psychiatry (48 % of those who answered the question).

A multicenter film festival organized by psychiatrists was associated with more positive attitudes to psychiatry and psychiatrists and an increase in students considering psychiatry as a career. The festival is now an annual event, continuing to expand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-338
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • film
  • film festival
  • psychiatry
  • recruitment

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