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Defining the role of the consultant psychiatrist in a public mental health service



Defining the role of the consultant psychiatrist in a public mental health service



Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 32(5): 603



The aim of this paper is to clarify elements of the role of a psychiatrist working in the public sector. The relevant literature was examined to help clarify some of the reasons psychiatrists have been leaving the public sector and to help define the key roles of a psychiatrist working in the public sector. Two principal roles for the consultant psychiatrist in the public sector are identified: the psychiatrist as a clinician and the psychiatrist as a manager. The management role is contrasted with the role as an administrator and important differences between these roles are identified. The management role includes planning, advocacy and managing human resources. The importance of professional development in the career path for the newly qualified psychiatrist is discussed. The role of the psychiatrist in public sector psychiatry is a challenging and exciting one. Psychiatrists will start to return to the public sector when they recognise this new role for the consultant psychiatrist. This will be to the advantage of public sector psychiatry in general and to the job satisfaction of psychiatrists. The key features of the clinical role are the demonstration of sophisticated clinical skills, providing clinical leadership via supervision, being accountable for patient care and providing consultant opinion on complex clinical problems.

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Accession: 045716213

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9805582

DOI: 10.3109/00048679809113110


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