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Psychiatry in the new undergraduate curriculum

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

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Extract

Recognising the vast extent of psychiatric morbidity internationally and the burden of mental illness on people, communities and nations, the World Psychiatric Association and the World Federation for Medical Education have recently published global guidelines for developing core curricula in psychiatry for medical students (Walton & Gelder 1999). More locally, major changes are taking place in undergraduate medical education throughout the UK. These changes represent a response to the appreciation, both by medical schools and by the General Medical Council (GMC), of two major pressures in undergraduate education. The first is that students have been asked over the years to accumulate more and more factual knowledge while the knowledge base in medicine itself expands and changes more rapidly. The second is that both understanding of illness and delivery of care are developing an increasing focus on the role of the community and community support. These general pressures have led to a number of specific recommendations, initially put forward by the GMC in their document Tomorrow's Doctors (GMC, 1993). This document encourages the reduction of ‘core knowledge’ taught to medical students to 65% of what has previously been taught, together with the identification of special study modules (SSMs), which would fill the remaining time in the curriculum. These SSMs would allow students to explore areas of particular interest in greater depth than was previously possible.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 1999 

References

Carr, V. J., Hazell, P. L. & Williamson, M. (1996) Teaching psychiatry in an integrated medical curriculum. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 30, 210219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
General Medical Council (1993) Tomorrow's Doctors: Recommendations on Undergraduate Medical Education. London: GMC.Google Scholar
Singh, S. P., Baxter, H., Standen, P. et al (1998) Changing the attitudes of 'tomorrow's doctors' towards mental illness and psychiatry: a comparison of two teaching methods. Medical Education, 32, 115120.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Walton, H. & Gelder, M. (1999) Core curriculum in psychiatry for medical students. Medical Education, 33, 204211.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Working Party of the Education Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1997) Core psychiatry for tomorrow's doctors. Psychiatric Bulletin, 21, 522524.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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