A study of primary care training directors conducted by Hoyle Leigh, MD, Ronna Mallios, MPH, and Deborah C. Stewart, MD, found that most directors believed their psychiatry training programs were inadequate. The researchers, from the University of California, San Francisco, surveyed 1550 US psychiatry and primary care program directors (in family practice [FP], internal medicine [IM], obstetrics and gynecology [OB], and pediatrics [Peds]) with a questionnaire about specific areas of training as well as perceived adequacy of training programs.
In each area, with the exception of FP, the directors responded that they were dissatisfied with the psychiatry training in their primary care programs and that training was minimal to suboptimal; this was the view of 94% of psychiatry training directors, as well as 81% of IM, OB, and Peds training directors. Interestingly, 64% of FP training directors felt that their psychiatry training programs were optimal to extensive, and 60% were satisfied with training in their programs.
The researchers concluded that while the basics of psychiatry training were covered, all programs could be enhanced. Leigh told Psychiatric Times, For IM, enhancements are needed in training in a variety of psychiatric techniques and disorders; for OB, training in diagnostic interview, psychotherapy, counseling, and psychopharmacology; and for Peds, training in diagnostic interview, somatoform/pain disorder, psychological factors affecting physical condition, and adjustment disorders. Most programs, including FP, believe training in eating disorders should be augmented.