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Type: Journal article
Title: Undergraduate teaching of child and adolescent psychiatry in Australia: survey of current practice
Author: Sawyer, M.
Giesen, F.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2007; 41(8):675-681
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Asia
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 0004-8674
Statement of
Sawyer, M.; Giesen, F.
Abstract: Objective: To identify the goals, content, and time allocated for undergraduate child psychiatry teaching programmes in Australian medical schools. Method: A structured questionnaire designed specifically for the present study was used to identify the goals, content, and time allocated to child psychiatry teaching for undergraduate medical students. Staff responsible for child psychiatry teaching programmes at all 15 medical schools in Australia were contacted and those in 12 schools (80%) agreed to participate. Results: All 12 medical schools provided some teaching relevant to child psychiatry. Teaching was commonly provided as part of general psychiatry and/or paediatric teaching programmes. Between 4 and 12 h were allocated for child psychiatry teaching, with the exception of one school, which assigned 46 h. Ten schools (83%) offered clinical placements in child psychiatry to some or all students, with placements ranging in length from 0.5 days to 8 weeks. However, only four schools (33%) offered clinical placements to all students. Two schools (17%) offered no clinical placements or electives in child psychiatry. The skills required to assess children and families, and knowledge about normal child development were identified as key teaching goals. Barriers to teaching child psychiatry included the lack of academic child psychiatrists in Australia, and the limited time allocated for this teaching in medical school curricula. Conclusions: The amount of time allocated for teaching child psychiatry in Australian medical schools is relatively small and not consistent with the size of the public health problem posed by child and adolescent mental disorders. Staff responsible for teaching child psychiatry need to coordinate their activities more effectively at a national level to identify teaching goals, design curricula, and advocate for high-quality child psychiatry teaching programmes in medical schools.
Keywords: Adolescent psychiatry; Child psychiatry; Undergraduate medical education
RMID: 0020072910
DOI: 10.1080/00048670701449153
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics publications

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