Higher specialist training in psychiatry requires the development of a broad range of knowledge and skills in a short space of time. However, a brief national survey of programme directors confirms reports from peers that structured, targeted teaching tends not to continue beyond completion of College Membership examinations. Exceptions to this rule are child and adolescent psychiatry and to a lesser extent psychotherapy, which reflects requirements laid out in the Higher Specialist Training Handbook (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1998). Specialist registrars must therefore, using limited study time and funding, attempt to acquire knowledge from local and national courses. These, however, are usually aimed at more generic groups: for example, all health service specialist registrars or at consultants for fulfilment of continuing professional development.
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