Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
Home | About us | Current Issue | Archives | Ahead of Print | Submission | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact | Login 
    Users online: 2099 Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size Print this article Email this article Bookmark this page


    Advanced search

    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded183    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 194
Undergraduate clinical posting in Psychiatry: Are we paying enough attention?

Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Gorimedu, Pondicherry-605006, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication22-Jun-2010

How to cite this article:
Kattimani S. Undergraduate clinical posting in Psychiatry: Are we paying enough attention?. Indian J Psychiatry 2010;52:194

How to cite this URL:
Kattimani S. Undergraduate clinical posting in Psychiatry: Are we paying enough attention?. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Nov 28];52:194. Available from:


According to the recent guidelines set by Medical Council of India (MCI), it is now compulsory to have psychiatry posting for 14 days as part of rotatory internship, besides completing three hours per day for 14 days of psychiatry posting during the fifth or sixth semester for MBBS undergraduates (UGs). In many medical colleges, where there are postgraduate (PG) degrees in psychiatry, UG teaching is not given importance. The previous symposium on UG teaching in psychiatry has highlighted the importance of this issue very clearly. [1],[2] There are 300 medical colleges in India that teach MBBS students; of these, 104 have PG courses in psychiatry. [3] Apart from having short term training programs for general duty medical officers (GDMO), to manage common psychiatric and substance use disorders in their practice, it is wise to show the same kind of interest and investment in training our UGs.

The medical colleges which do not have psychiatric departments can have their UGs posted to the nearest government psychiatric treatment centers. Research shows greater exposure to and working with mentally ill persons during medical training decreases fear and creates a positive attitude towards caring for the mentally ill. [4],[5] The MCI has stated the goals and objectives of psychiatry training with a holistic approach. [6] Other additional goals which need to be developed are - the ability to make differential diagnosis, identify common side effects and information giving skills, either verbal or written, which include talking to patients or relatives or other specialty professionals about matters related to psychiatry. Their awareness of common psychotropics used and their indications, along with their dose and duration, can be enhanced to help them develop the ability to identify common side effects and manage them. We can enhance their knowledge on modified electroconvulsive therapy (MECT) procedure by demonstrating to small batches and informing them of its indications, myths, and adverse effects. We can teach principles of management of psychiatric emergencies-suicide threat and violence, one or two days in the out patient department (OPD) to see how follow-up is done. They can be introduced to use of classificatory systems in diagnosis, use of common rating or diagnostic scales and psychological tests. There has to be a separate slot for assessment and feedback or to discuss topics of their choice. There is a need to stress on physical examination in persons diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and detecting signs and symptoms of organicity in a person with psychiatric symptoms . They can be involved during their internship psychiatry posting working on common mental disorders as work up and discussing with consultants or taking up small presentations of psychiatric topics which are relevant for their entrance and general applicability, even when they work as GDMO or take specialty courses.

This effort helps in creating awareness about various mental disorders and in decreasing stigma attached towards psychiatry. We, as psychiatry professionals, need to devote time and , keep ourselves well versed with current knowledge about our subject and conduct ourselves in dignified way.

   References Top

1.Trivedi JK, Dhyani M. Undergraduate psychiatric education in South Asian countries. Indian J Psychiatry 2007;49:163-5.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
2.Murthy RS, Khandelwal S. Undergraduate training in Psychiatry: World perspective. Indian J Psychiatry 2007;49:169-74.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
3.Medical colleges offering PG degree courses in psychiatry. Available from: [accessed on 2010 Jan 20].  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Kuhnigk O, Strebel B, Schilauske J, Jueptner M. Attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry : Effects of training, courses in psychiatry, psychiatric experience and gender. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 2007;12:87-101.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
5.Reddy JP, Tan SM, Azmi MT, Shaharom MH, Rosdinom R, Maniam T,et al. The effect of a clinical posting in psychiatry on the attitudes of medical students towards psychiatry and mental illness in a Malaysian medical school. Ann Acad Med Singapore 2005;34:505-10.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
6.Medical Council of India. Salient features of regulations on graduate medical education. Available from: [accessed on 2010 Jan 20].  Back to cited text no. 6      

Correspondence Address:
Shivanand Kattimani
Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Gorimedu, Pondicherry-605006
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.64585

Rights and Permissions