As models of mental health care and the professional identity of psychiatry are dramatically changing throughout Europe, a constant redefinition of aims, procedures and standards of training in psychiatry is widely perceived as necessary. The aim of the present study was to assess, in a group of trainees in psychiatry and early career psychiatrists, facts and opinions about their own training.
A 30-item ad hoc structured questionnaire, with both yes/no questions and rating scales, was administered to 92 Italian trainees in psychiatry and young psychiatrists, during a training event. The questionnaire focused on general work-related aspects (job satisfaction, self-confidence in different skills and therapeutic interventions) but also on more specific training-related aspects (supervision, training in psychotherapy, methods of evaluations, training in research).
Mean (SD) age of respondents was 30 (3.51) years, with a M/F ratio of 0.31. Sixty-nine percent of respondents deemed themselves generally “satisfied” with their training, but when considering some specific areas of training, such as psychotherapy and forensic psychiatry, the satisfaction rates were sensibly lower (33 and 19% respectively). Lower levels of professional self-confidence were associated to forensic psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and emergency psychiatry. Respondents also reported problems in the definition and application of training instruments such as supervision and a training log-book.
The definition and implementation of minimum educational international standards for training in psychiatry is still necessary. Thus, continuous research on definition of educational standards in psychiatry has to be promoted throughout Europe.