The present study was carried out to assess the influence of psychiatric training, including direct patient contact, on attitudes toward mental illness. An experimental group consisting of medical students going through their 3-week training in psychiatry was compared with a control group going through training in ophthalmology. The psychiatric training involved direct patient contact and course work. Attitudes toward three different vignettes were assessed before and after training. Analyses showed that there were no significant changes in the attitudes of the psychiatry group when compared to the ophthalmology group. Inconsistent findings in the literature were pointed out and a more analytical approach, focusing on the specific features of exposure, was suggested.