HumanInsight The rationale and guiding principles to design a psychiatry curriculum for primary care doctors of India
Natl Med J India. 2022 Jan-Feb;35(1):32-37. doi: 10.25259/NMJI_289_20.
Background Integrating psychiatric care into the general practice of primary care doctors (PCDs) is necessary to overcome the shortage of human resources to cater to the burgeoning public mental health needs of India. The traditional psychiatry curriculum is often top-down and specialist-based that contributes little in terms of skill quotient. We designed an innovative, digitally driven, distance education-based, part-time, modular-based Primary Care Psychiatry Programme (PCPP, skill-based). It is being implemented across many states of India to equip PCDs with skills to provide first-line psychiatry treatment. We discuss the rationale and guiding principles behind designing the curriculum of PCPP. Discussion There are nine guiding principles behind designing and implementing PCPP to provide pragmatic, acceptable, feasible modules of higher translational quotient (TQ) that are essential to upskill PCDs. There is a shift in training the location of PCDs in their live brief general consultations utilizing innovative telemedicine-based 'on-consultation training' (OCT) augmented with collaborative video consultations. A monolithic treatment protocol-driven, trans-diagnostic approach is used to design a concise, all-inone, point-of-care manual containing a culturally sensitive, rapid, validated screener and taxonomy, called 'Clinical Schedules for Primary Care Psychiatry'. This incorporates the PCDs' style of clinical practice that helps in picking up the most commonly prevalent adult psychiatric disorders presenting to primary care. Conclusion This PCPP curriculum contains pragmatic modules with higher TQ. This curriculum is dynamic as the learning is bi-directional. This can be used by policy-makers, innovators and academia for integration with national health programmes such as those for non-communicable diseases and reproductive and child health.
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