Recommendations for Primary Care Provided by Psychiatrists
Recent studies have shown that people with severe mental illness have a dramatically lower life expectancy than the general population. Psychiatrists have not traditionally been very attentive to or involved with physical health issues and there has been growing emphasis on integrated care for physical and mental health and access to primary care for all members of the population. This paper examines the role of psychiatrists in the provision of primary care to the patients they treat. Some recommendations are offered for their involvement in the provision of primary care at three levels of complexity: Level 1—Universal Basic Psychiatric Primary Care; Level 2—Enhanced Psychiatric Primary Care; and Level 3—Fully Integrated Primary Care and Psychiatric Management. Some of the obstacles to the provision of primary care by psychiatrists are considered along with some suggestions for overcoming them.
KeywordsIntegrated care Primary care psychiatry Health disparities Psychiatric training curricula
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