Do psychiatrists feel stigmatized by working in psychiatric clinics? Is there something wrong with being called a psychiatrist?Call to Action
In light of this confusion as to what psychiatry is and what psychiatrists do, we must take an immediate set of actions:
1. Define psychiatry's core knowledge base.
2. Define the core skills essential to practicing psychiatry, such as performing in-depth assessments; using psychopharmacologic agents; practicing psychotherapy; and evaluating psychiatric research, particularly as it relates to clinical practice.
3. Assure that all psychiatric practitioners possess the essential knowledge and skills to treat patients.
4. Develop practice parameters in conjunction with other mental health care providers that outline psychiatrists' roles.
5. In conjunction with other mental health care providers, develop practice parameters that outline who is the appropriate mental health care worker to address varied clinical situations.
Once we have acted on these five points, we will have to battle to implement them. Psychiatry's failure to define itself will only mean that we will have a declining role in the practice of mental health care. However, by addressing each of these points, psychiatry can have a robust future.