Psychiatric Education and Training

  • Aubrey Lewis
Part of the Psychiatrie der Gegenwart book series (2042, volume 3)


Of all the branches of medicine which are taught to medical students and specialists none is so difficult to consider in isolation as psychiatry. Both the content and the manner of instruction will vary according to the conceptions of psychiatry’s role as a medical service, and of its scientific status, which prevail in medical circles and in the community at large. The manner in which medical education as a whole is viewed must greatly influence the teaching of so controversial, wide-ranging, important and unsettled a subject as psychiatry. The personal qualities of those who study medicine or who choose to train as specialists will govern the quality and outlook of the teachers of psychiatry, and affect the educational goals they set out to attain. It is easy to demonstrate that countries which, on a superficial view, subscribe to the same psychiatric tenets, accept the same body of psychiatric knowledge and use the same almost international textbooks, nevertheless devote very different amounts of time to the teaching of this subject to medical students and concentrate on quite different aspects, while for graduates who aspire to become psychiatrists they likewise make very discrepant provision. Often it can be readily discerned that the discrepancies are more directly connected with the economic, cultural and institutional conditions prevailing in the respective countries than with the state of medical knowledge in them or the structure of their medical curriculum. It is noteworthy that in reply to a questionnaire circulated in 1950 to twentyfive national medical associations, fifteen expressed the view that insufficient emphasis was laid on mental aspects of disease in the teaching of medical students, yet among these many gave much more time to the teaching of psychiatry than did those who were satisfied on this score (World Medical Association, 1950).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1961

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aubrey Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychiatryMaudsley HospitalLondon/GBEngland

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