Child Psychiatry Curricula in Undergraduate Medical Education
To review the literature describing the content and time allocated to undergraduate medical education curricula in child and adolescent psychiatry and make recommendations about child and adolescent psychiatry teaching goals and curricula content. A literature search from 1970 to February 2007 using the key words undergraduate, curriculum, teaching, education, psychiatry, child, adolescent, and medical school, was conducted using PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science. There is limited agreement about curricula content for undergraduate child and adolescent psychiatry teaching programs in medical schools, with a wide range of objectives identified by different programs. On average, the time allowed for teaching child and adolescent psychiatry is small. There is also great variation in the time allocated by different medical schools. In many countries, the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists with academic appointments is limited, and child and adolescent psychiatry programs are developed and taught by a small number of teaching staff at each medical school. Medical schools should reconsider the relatively low priority given to teaching child and adolescent psychiatry to medical students. The child and adolescent psychiatry profession must identify clear learning goals for a longitudinal developmentally appropriate model of child and adolescent psychiatry education commencing at an undergraduate level in medical schools and continuing through residency and fellowships. There is a need to promote national and international standards for teaching in this area and to encourage stronger collaborations between teaching staff across different medical schools.