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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: November 2010

12 - Medical professionalism in the new century


The movement for Global Mental Health is a significant step forward in the delivery of healthcare across the globe. This chapter argues that in low- and middle-income countries, where resources are limited, the role of the psychiatrist may carry higher level of non-clinical responsibilities, such as supervision and training, rather than direct clinical contact. It suggests that, under these circumstances, psychiatrists should be supporting other types of mental healthcare delivery through primary care workers of different specialties. The chapter discusses the barriers to closing the treatment gaps. It focuses primarily on the availability and distribution of specialist human resources. The term 'psychiatry' in this chapter refers both the medical and other clinical specialties concerned with mental healthcare (notably, psychiatric nursing, clinical psychology and psychiatric social work). The chapter considers the strategies through which psychiatry can, as it were, reinvent itself for the future.


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