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Are psychiatrists real doctors? A survey of the medical experience and training of psychiatric trainees in the west of Scotland

  • Laura Robinson (a1)
Abstract
Aims and Method

A questionnaire was sent to 122 psychiatric trainees in the west of Scotland to clarify the extent to which trainees provide physical healthcare to their in-patients and to establish trainees' views on the need for further training.

Results

Almost all of the 65 respondents were expected to provide emergency care, and a large majority dealt with physical health problems on a regular basis. Few respondents had received any formal training in physical health care problems since entering psychiatry.

Clinical Implications

The results of the questionnaire suggest that psychiatric trainees are currently providing a considerable amount of physical healthcare for psychiatric in-patients. Clarifying the medical experiences and training of psychiatric trainees may help to inform future debate as to the appropriate management of physical healthcare for psychiatric patients.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Are psychiatrists real doctors? A survey of the medical experience and training of psychiatric trainees in the west of Scotland

  • Laura Robinson (a1)
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eLetters

Are Psychiatrists Real Doctors?

Harpreet S Pannu, Staff Grade Psychiatrist
25 August 2005

Are Psychiatrists real doctors?

The survey of psychiatric trainees in Scotland by Robinson (Psychiatric Bulletin 2005, 29, 62-64) provided an interesting review of the physical health care provided by trainees. The results showing that a significant amount of physical health care is being provided by psychiatric trainees.In my experience south of the border the situation is no different. Particularly in psychiatric long-stay facilities such as Rehabilitation Units and Forensic Units where a large degree of physical morbidity exists. Cormac et al 2004 showed there to be high rates of avoidable health risks such as smoking, obesity, central weight distribution and excessive weight gain. The role of the trainee is to identify and manage problems often of a nature that they have received no formal training for. After completion ofpre-registration house jobs, entry straight into psychiatric training schemes is not an uncommon pathway. The notion of managing for example an individual’s diabetes, hypertension or obesity may be quite alien never mind being able to recognise strange skin complaints and other problems commonly encountered in primary care.I have valued experience and training in primary care and at times found it invaluable in assisting me to deal with my patients physical health problems. As the National Service Framework implies that health promotion as well as appropriate access to and delivery of primary care are standards of care that patients with mental disorders require.It may be of value to consider the training needs of psychiatric trainees with regards to management of physical health problems.

Declaration of InterestNone

Word count250

Cormac, I., Ferriter, M., Benning, R., Saul, C., Physical health andhealth risk factors in a population of long-stay psychiatric patientsPsychiatric Bulletin., Jan 2005; 29: 18 - 20.

Department Of Health., National Service Framework For Mental Health, London, DOH, 1999

Dr Harpreet PannuStaff Grade PsychiatristRampton HospitalRetford, DN22 0PDHarpreet.pannu@nottshc.nhs.uk
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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