As part of training for general practice, approximately 40% of junior doctors will undertake a senior house officer (SHO) post in psychiatry (Ratcliffe et al, 1999). The majority of such posts will be within general adult psychiatry. As a result of this general practitioner (GP) trainees often receive little exposure to old age psychiatry or child and adolescent psychiatry. Similarly, although trainees will inevitably gain some experience of substance misuse associated with mental illness, there is little opportunity to develop skills in addressing primary substance misuse disorders and there is a clear need to develop better skills in the recognition and management of psychiatric comorbidity (Commander et al, 1999).
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