The article by Dr Brown et al (Psychiatric Bulletin June 2005, 29, 228-230) on modernising psychiatric education summarised very well the current position and thinking with regards to the overhaul of medical education and psychiatric education in particular. I doubt though that enough emphasis has been given to who is actually going to provide this education. Dr Brown et al allude to potential problems when they say that adequate planning and fair warning has to be given to trainers and trainees about the intended changes, but it remains unclear whether these can be achieved in a climate of continuous recruitment problems in psychiatry. As a senior house officer scheme organiser, trainer and honorary lecturer I am also aware of the time constraints, which already limit the amount of time that consultants can spend with their trainees. Moreover, the new shift systems have significantly reduced the amount of time for consultants and trainees to meet. The proposals, as outlined in the article, emphasise more modular and assessment-based teaching, which in turn will inevitably require much more time devoted to trainees by their trainers. It is absolutely vital that before we embark on such significant changes we make sure that they can actually be delivered on the ground, which I very much doubt is possible with current staffing levels.