Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 83-88

Training and National deficit of psychiatrists in India - A critical analysis

1 Department of Psychiatry, Stanley Medical College, Member of Senate and President Faculty of Medical Specialties, The Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai, India
2 University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, USA

Correspondence Address:
M Thirunavukarasu
Department of Psychiatry, Stanley Medical College, Chennai - 600 001, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.69218

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India is the second most populous country in the world, with an estimated current population of 1.17 billion. This article aims to estimate the deficit of psychiatrists in India in relation to epidemiological burden of mental illness, propose short-term and long-term strategies to tackle the deficit and emphasize the importance of modifying the curriculum of undergraduate medical education to enable the proposed strategies. With 6.5% prevalence of serious mental disorder, the average national deficit of India is estimated to be 77%. More than one-third of the population has more than 90% deficit of psychiatrists. The authors estimated that the undergraduate medical curriculum devotes only 1.4% of lecture time and 3.8-4.1% of internship time to psychiatry, thereby leaving the general practitioners and the non-psychiatrist specialists unprepared to competently deal with mental illness in their practice. We propose short and long-term strategies to manage this deficit of psychiatrists.



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