A recent blog article aimed at prospective physician assistants (PAs) identified psychiatry as a series of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, diagnoses supplemented by empathy and medication. It suggested that there were ample opportunities for PAs to practice psychiatry, although a recent survey showed that only 1% of PA graduates were employed in psychiatric clinical practices. While this is only one perspective, it suggests that PAs' understanding of psychiatric practice is limited by the patient population they see during their clinical rotations as students. A broad systematically organized clinical psychiatry module with clinical preceptor direction could provide a more informed knowledge base and more interest in the field.
Kim J. Masters, MD, is a psychiatric consultant at Three Rivers Midlands Campus Residential Treatment Center for children and adolescents in West Columbia, South Carolina, and an adjunct assistant clinical professor in the PA program at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and also in the PA program in the Department of Psychiatry at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Correspondence should be addressed to: Kim J. Masters, MD, Three Rivers Midlands RTC, 200 Ermine Road, West Columbia, SC 29170. Telephone: (912)222-5502; Email: email@example.com
The author declares no conflict of interest.