Promoting psychiatry as a career – ideas to inspire you

Please see below a range of innovative ideas to promote psychiatry as a career. We hope they inspire you to help students and foundation doctors in your region.

The trainee led projects below were joint initiatives between Health Education England and RCPsych and were selected from nearly 50 proposals.

They address inaccurate perceptions of psychiatry as a career, attract more Medical Students and Foundation Doctors into the profession and target specific regions and psychiatric specialties that are hard to recruit to:

  • Ageing & Psychiatry conference, Oxford
  • Balint Groups for Medical Students and Foundation Doctors in HEE South West, Severn
  • Global Mental Health, Student Selected component overseas placement
  • National Art competition and Exhibition for Foundation Doctors 'psychART'
  • Medicine Calling, Conference for Young People considering a career in medicine - University of Leicester
  • Raising the profile of Foundation Education Days, South Tees
  • Shrink Wrapped Book - Tales from Psychiatrists
  • Psychiatry Early Experience Programme (PEEP), South Yorkshire

For further information please email

Global mental health - Student selected component

This exchange programme gave third year medical students the chance to complete a Student Selected Component, located overseas for 6 weeks. Dr Lucy Potter and Dr Sophie Tomlin wanted to run this project to allow medical students to have this opportunity early on in their medical career. As well as promoting a positive image of psychiatry.

Four Students were selected to the exchange between Lisbon Hospital de Santa Maria and Springfield University Hospital, London. The placement included lectures about global mental health, basic psychiatry lectures and some Portuguese lessons.

Following the international placements the students were invited to attend a one day event, to share their experiences through presentations.

'psychART' National Art competition for foundation doctors

The psychART competition was open to all Foundation Doctors in the country, and over 100 paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, poetry and film pieces were entered. The College is now exhibiting a selection of entries at the College throughout March, including the winners.

The winners were announced in the three separate categories:

Judges’ vote

1st place- ‘Extreme Doodling’ by Phanida Fung

2nd place- 'Was Webst Fur Errinerung?' 'What do you weave for memory?' by Sue Fairbanks

3rd place- 'thejoyofmania' by Karrish Devan

'Extreme Doodling’ by Phanida Fung

Winner: 'Extreme Doodling’ by Phanida Fung

Online vote

1st place- ‘This is a Man’s World’ by Noleen Osborne

2nd place- 'First Day of School' by Aicha Rais

3rd place- 'Just Ask' by Rebecca Robinson

'This is a Man's World' by Noleen Osborne

Winner: 'This is a Man's World' by Noleen Osborne

Delegates vote

1st place- ‘Homeless 1’ by Rory Hutchinson

2nd place-'This is a Man's World' by Noleen Osborne

3rd place- 'Just Ask' by Rebecca Robinson

'Homeless 1' by Rory Hutchinson

Winner: 'Homeless 1' by Rory Hutchinson

The judging took place on the 18 November, during the one day conference that hosted around 70 delegates and inspirational speakers, with fascinating talks on topics including:

  • ‘The history of psychiatry in art’
  • ‘Art and psychiatry in practice: the perspective of a consultant psychiatrist and artist’
  • ‘The art of recovery’
  • ‘Participatory Arts with Young people with mental Health’
  • ‘The idealised body image through the ages and why eating disorders are so interesting’

This psychiatry recruitment event was organised by two higher trainees: Dr Megan Fisher and Dr Saffron Homayoun. The day ended with a musical performance and a debate on ‘There is no role for art in the modern day NHS’.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry