Prioritizing training of undergraduate medical students in mental health competencies
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2
1 Deputy Director – Academics, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
MD, FAIMER, PGDHHM, DHRM, FCS, ACME, M.Phil. (HPE), Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Mental health has been acknowledged an integral component of maintenance of optimal health of individuals and communities. The purpose of the current review was to explore the teaching practices for mental health competencies and strengthen the same in undergraduate teaching period. An extensive search of all materials related to the topic was carried out in the PubMed search engine and a total of 19 articles were selected based on their suitability with the current review objectives. Amid the shortage of trained psychiatrists, it becomes an indispensable need that undergraduate medical students are trained in specific competencies in the subject so that they are empowered to manage basic psychiatric illnesses, especially at the primary level of health care. If we can train our medical undergraduate students, it will turn out to be the most cost-effective and feasible approach to meet the needs of the rural and remote sections of the society. As the imparted mental health training is grossly inadequate or incomplete, it is a must that we take specific steps to improve the existing scenario. In conclusion, psychiatry is an essential and integral component of medical training in the undergraduation period. However, the subject lacks the desired attention under the present circumstances, and thus there is an indispensable need to improve the training and assessment of psychiatric competencies so that students become competent in discharging their future clinical roles.