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Postgraduate training in psychiatry in Asia

Isaac, Mohana; Ahmed, Helal U.b; Chaturvedi, Santosh K.c; Hopwood, Malcolm J.d; Javeed, Afzale; Kanba, Shigenobuf; Mufti, Ali Ahsang; Maramis, Alberth; Samaniego, Rene M.i; Udomratn, Pichetj; Yanling, Hek; Zainal, Nor Z.l; Sartorius, Normanm

doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000444

Purpose of review To understand the current situation, needs and challenges in the area of postgraduate training in psychiatry in Asia and identify implementable solutions.

Leaders in psychiatric education from nine Asia Pacific countries prepared country reports, based on a suggested list of items and met for a day to discuss and identify implementable solutions to improve the current unsatisfactory status of postgraduate training in psychiatry.

Recent findings Except Japan, all the other countries have a very low number of psychiatrists per 100 000 population – far lower than the global target of 10 psychiatrist per 100 000 population. The undergraduate teaching in psychiatry in majority of the countries is restricted to 20 h of lectures given during the 4–6 semester and 2–3 weeks of clinical ward placements. The duration as well as the overall quality of postgraduate training and methods of assessment and accreditation varies widely across and within countries.

Summary Numerous gaps that need to be addressed to enhance the quality of psychiatrists trained in Asia were identified. There is a need to have uniform minimum standards of training and mechanisms of mutual support, for not only training but also academics and research activities in Asia.

aDivision of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

bNational Institute of Mental Health and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

cDepartment of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India

dDepartment of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

ePakistan Psychiatric Research Centre, Psychiatry, Islamabad, Pakistan

fDepartment of Neuropsychiatry, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

gIbadat Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan

hSection on Community Psychiatry, Indonesian Psychiatric Association, Jakarta, Indonesia

iSection of Psychiatry, Department of Neurosciences, Makati Medical Centre, Makati City, the Philippines

jFaculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkhla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand

kShanghai Mental Health Centre, Shanghai City, China

lDepartment of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

mAssociation for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes, Geneva, Switzerland

Correspondence to Mohan Isaac, Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, Fremantle Hospital, Level 7, T Block, Fremantle, WA 6160, Australia. Tel: +61 8 9431 3474; e-mail:

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