As the move towards community based psychiatry gathers momentum, it becomes increasingly important that psychiatrists are adequately trained to take on their changing role in the new model of psychiatric care (Sturt & Waters, 1985; Lancet, 1985). Indeed, it has been recommended that “every psychiatrist should be familiar with the conduct of community psychiatry” (Freeman, 1985). Difficulties arise, however, due to the fact that there is no accepted definition of the practice of community psychiatry (Fink & Weinstein, 1979) let alone well established training programmes designed to equip future community psychiatrists to practise competently. Not surprisingly, few psychiatrists are satisfied with their community psychiatry training. Brook (1981) reported that only 38% considered their community psychiatry to be adequate in quantity and suitably supervised. Even then, their subjective view may not have reflected the actual adequacy of their training. Nevertheless, useful guidelines have been drawn up by the Collegiate Trainees Committee Working Party (Scott, 1988), outlining what would constitute a rounded training programme in community psychiatry. However, there is scant literature evaluating the usefulness of the few existing posts providing such experience
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