There has been a recent upsurge of ‘educationalism’ in the field of psychiatry which, as a trainee, I would like to comment upon. The Cambridge conference on education and training (Bulletin, June 1982, 6, 105; 107) briefly considered the option of educational objectives as a way of planning, monitoring and assessing a training scheme. Others have called on the College to issue a syllabus for the MRCPsych Examination (Bulletin, November 1981, 5, 215), and Dr R. Symonds of the Southern Division has presented a syllabus for in-service training which is adapted from a Canadian model. All these suggestions suffer from drawbacks, but some are more appropriate to the needs of trainees than others. Each is trying to tackle the same problem: to fill in the educational gaps which all trainees have, some more than others, and which frequently go undetected until the exam. Such elementary skills as mental state examination and interview skills are often poorly taught.
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