previous post). What psychiatrists are worried about is that their job seems to be being taken over by non-medical professionals.
I gave up my medical training for 8 years because I found it difficult to see the need for medical training in psychiatry. However confused this decision was, it does mean I am speaking from experience on this matter.
We should welcome other professionals taking on consultant roles, including being responsible clinicians under the Mental Health Act. However limited in practice this development has been so far, it is happening in other areas of medicine besides psychiatry. It offers more choice to a patient to be able to see a consultant from another profession, such as nursing or clinical psychology. Other professions should be encouraged to take on the responsibility which has traditionally been undertaken by the doctor.
Other professionals have always had a central role in managing patients in hospital. This continues to be the case with care co-ordination in the community.
None of this means that medical training is not of value for psychiatry. This is because many physical complaints have a psychogenic origin. In fact, as argued by Bill Fulford and others, psychiatry could be seen as the pre-eminent medical speciality because practice is so obviously determined by values. This may be more hidden in the rest of medicine but a focus on the person is inevitably central.
In particular , none of this justifies retreat into a biomedical psychiatry. In fact, it was the disease-centred nature of biomedicine that put me off understanding the medical nature of psychiatry when I was younger.