Objective: In child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) lectures are the most common teaching format for medical students. Besides conveying basic knowledge and skills related to the medical management of children and adolescents with mental health problems, lectures also play a decisive role in the recruitment of future residents for this discipline. Thus, knowledge of the expectations of medical students of lectures is a crucial factor.
Method: 1,029 medical students at ten German medical schools were surveyed with a questionnaire in a cross-sectional design.
Results: Items perceived as most important were knowledge of disorders (73 %), medical skills in handling children and adolescents (61 %), and differential diagnosis of normal and abnormal child behaviour in children and adolescents (59 %). 71 % set a high value on patient presentation, while 41 % expressed ethical concerns about presenting mentally ill minors in lectures.
Conclusions: The expectations of medical students toward CAP lectures are mainly related to the transfer of specialty-related knowledge and generic skills. The important area of teaching attitudes could best be covered via patient presentations, which are desired by most students. However, ethical concerns over patient presentation also need to be discussed with students.