Medical Psychiatry Alliance: Transforming medical education and training



for young student the medical psychiatry alliance offer very exciting and innovative way to think about medicine the mind and the body that have been separated now for three centuries are coming back together I deal with medical students all the time who come in and are so excited to be in medicine but they want to do surgeries and they want to treat heart attacks and they just want to do the quick fixes I think what ends up happening though when they come to family medicine they see that medicine doesn't have a start date and an end date there's a continuum I think that there are some medical students who might question the need to learn about mental and physical health in this integrated fashion and I would say to them perhaps we can have the best physical care provided for many of these patients yet these mental health conditions and concerns can be a significant barrier to the success of whether it be medical or surgical care so if you're a young doctor and you just graduated you're you're here as a trainee and you're going to go into practice most of your medical education will have focused on medical issues and medical needs even as even as a medical student your exposure to children's mental health issues will be minimal and and yet you will go it into practice and you will be expected to deal with those issues you will be the go-to person you know even TV commercials help families to go to their family doctor if you have this concern so you will be the expert the go-to person and although you may not think that that's what you want to do or where you want to work you're going to have to be skilled in that area you may end up in a small community where you are the only resource and although you may not have had the training you do need to be aware of those issues you do need at least to be aware of where those resources are if you're not the one who can provide those services directly as a medical student when you graduate the lack of recognition of the extent to which mental health issues and mental health illness pervade medical illness that recognition is absolutely essential because what most of our medical students me included learn when they leave medical school is how pervasive mental health issues are to their patients that's true for cardiac patients as true for patients who suffer with diabetes that's true for patients who suffer with eating disorders additionally education is a significant component of what NPA is about and that's education not just a trainees of all disciplines but it's education of the public it's public awareness it's families it's kids it's it's community service providers it's supporting the frontline workers whether it's a family doctor or a pediatrician or a social worker or a child life specialist or a child and youth worker this is really one of the few times that attention is paid to the education of a variety of caregivers

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