This paper considers the possible relevance to psychiatry trainees of a period of training in public health medicine. The work of public health doctors is to identify ways of Improving the health of populations and to promote relevant change. It is of relevance to psychiatrists, who have to consider needs of whole catchment populations rather than Just of patients who seek help, and who have historically experienced difficulty in competing for resources. We discuss tasks that trainees might undertake during a brief public health attachment, the potential benefits of such an attachment and some of the practical considerations.
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