The structure of academic training in psychiatry has changed in recent years and little is known about the trainees currently pursuing this career path. Two surveys were conducted of academic trainees in psychiatry and the heads of departments of psychiatry. These surveys aimed to identify the number of trainees currently in academic training, the nature of their positions and opinions about the current system of training in academic psychiatry.
There were 165 academic trainees identified, of whom 101 were not currently in academic clinical fellow (ACF) or academic clinical lecturer (ACL) posts. Academic trainees are located in a relatively small number of universities, with a quarter being based at one institution. In total, 60% of the trainees were in general adult psychiatry. Only 4.6% of respondents rated their academic training as excellent and just over half were certain that they wished to pursue an academic career in the future. Various challenges to academic training in psychiatry were identified by both the heads of departments and trainees.
Current difficulties in academic training in psychiatry, such as lack of flexibility of the training pathway, need addressing to ensure the provision of high-quality research and teaching in psychiatry in the future.
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