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The community psychiatrist of the future

Rosen, Alana,b,c

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: July 2006 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 380–388
doi: 10.1097/01.yco.0000228758.18109.22
Services research and outcomes

Purpose of review The potential contributions of the community psychiatrist are described, via the interdisciplinary team, to individuals and families dealing with mental illness, and to the communities of the future, along with the opportunities for, and barriers to, effective teamwork and community collaborations.

Recent findings Health and medical training systems still provide perverse incentives deterring psychiatrists from becoming adequately trained in community psychiatry and full members of interdisciplinary teams, and skilled partners in improving the mental health of the whole community. Sources of potential role conflict should be resolved, and advantages of community collaborations, interdisciplinary leadership, support of teamwork, division of labour, cross-fertilization and hybrid vigour should be realized.

Summary Truly essential and desirable roles and the skill base of community psychiatrists in interdisciplinary teams and local communities could be developed and strengthened by changes in basic and advanced psychiatric training, and by psychiatric professional bodies and training programmes placing greater emphasis and value upon the roles of a community psychiatrist.

aRoyal North Shore Hospital and Community Mental Health Services, Sydney, Australia

bDepartment of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, Australia

cSchool of Public Health, University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence to Alan Rosen, Associate Professor, Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, 24 Olga Street, Chatswood, NSW 2067, Australia Tel: +61 2 9448 3250; fax: +61 2 9448 3277; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.