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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Psychiatry attachments

As a medical student, you will undertake a psychiatry attachment as part of your training. This section will help you make the most of the opportunity.

Each medical school offers different lengths of attachments and there will be different opportunities available depending on your local services.

You’ll also be able to use your elective to gain additional experience in psychiatry - perhaps in another country - and many medical schools also offer special study modules in psychiatry.


Key concepts

Understanding the key concepts of modern psychiatry will be helpful before you do your attachment.

Tips and tools

How to make the most of the learning opportunities you experience during the attachment

Seek variety

Seek opportunities to work in as many settings as possible. Read about the range of psychiatry settings and sub-specialties here.

Your safety

Dos and don’ts to help you during your attachment, when working with patients.

Personal perspective

One student tells us about their psychiatry attachment – and how it surprised him.

Books and guides

Some recommended reading before you start your attachment.
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Is psychiatry for me?

Find out about the benefits and challenges of a career in psychiatry from real psychiatrists – see Choose Psychiatry.