Medical practice can be reframed in terms of research and teaching, possessing and using the relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes. The doctor's curiosity and the diagnostic challenges of medical practice (and in particular of psychiatry) demand a capacity to think systematically, measure comprehensively and accurately and analyse the information obtained within the consultation as a preamble to management and treatment. The word ‘doctor’ means ‘teacher’ and the same communication skills are essential to both professions. Psychiatric practice is especially dependent upon them. They are also often essential for good clinical research.
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