The RANZCP is the principal organisation representing the medical specialty of psychiatry in Australia and New Zealand, and has responsibility for training, examining and awarding the Fellowship of the RANZCP to medical practitioners. The training of specialist psychiatrists in Australia is regulated by the requirements of the RANZCP, which is responsible for approval of overall training programmes. This includes approval of institutions, services and posts used for training within the training Network.
'Recovery is defined as a personal process of changing one's attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and / or roles. It involves the development of new meaning and purpose and a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life as the person grows beyond the effects of psychiatric disability. The process of recovery must be supported by individually-identified essential services and resources'. (National Mental Health Policy, 2008)
There is some truth that certain types of doctors are more inclined towards psychiatry as a career and that psychiatry is not for everyone.
A variety of studies matched with our local experience indicate that doctors with the following characteristics have both an aptitude and interest in psychiatry:
- Have a holistic outlook on patient care
- Enjoyed social sciences at school and university
- Rate communication skills highly
- Are interested in being members of a team of health workers
- Are comfortable in situations where the right course of action is not always obvious
- Understand and can empathise with the stigma attached to mental illness
- Many psychiatry trainees also considered careers in general practice and medicine
- However not all is lost if the above does not sound like you. Psychiatry offers a diversity of experiences, patient types and modes of working from psychotherapy to neuropsychiatry, from child to old age, from leading a large and complex public mental health service to developing a solo private practice.
Psychiatry is never boring!
Psychiatry is not just about syndromes and their medical management. It is about people and how they relate to their families, workplaces and communities.