Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 804-808

Reorientation of postgraduate training in the background of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017

Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Pratima Murthy
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_148_19

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In India, postgraduate (PG) training in Psychiatry began in 1941 and came under the regulation of the Medical Council of India in 1956. Since then, it has evolved into a more structured objective system. Most PG courses require compulsory submission of a dissertation work to provide experience in planning, executing, and disseminating research, in addition to clinical work, thus preparing the students to be future teachers or trainers and clinical practitioners. The training regulatory board needs to revisit the curriculum with regard to the provisions under the Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA) 2017, to incorporate the necessary knowledge, skills, and competence of trainees. The Act gives directions to the psychiatrists to act in certain ways in certain situations and makes documentation and completing forms more important. There are provisions for doing research in patients with severe mental illness with certain safeguards. The article discusses the aspects of the MHCA that necessitate modifications to the training, to equip the trainee psychiatrists to work within the framework of the act and also to familiarize them with the aspects of patient safeguards while conducting research. The trainees should take the initiative and put in efforts to understand the practical implications. Mentored learning of practical scenarios in their clinical postings is the best way to learn. Finally, one has to understand that there may be varying interpretations of the provisions of the act. Any interpretation of the provision can still be challenged in court.



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