The forsaken specialty
Why do doctors look down on psychiatry?
As a medical student I found that most other students thought that psychiatry was not a true profession—the consultants sit and sip tea, talk nonsense, and nobody ever seems to gets better. No blood test confirms what is wrong. No imaging shows the diagnosis. Simply put, ward rounds that consist of sitting in a room and chatting just didn’t seem like “real medicine” to most of my peers. Psychiatric patients were people to be mocked, feared (“you were left alone with them?”), or ignored. Revision for objective structured clinical exams and written papers was left to the last minute because it was “only psych.”
I don’t know why I thought this would be different when I qualified. Perhaps the “doctor” title would equate to being surrounded by those who understand, appreciate, and respect psychiatry? Goes to show that a label does not define how you act.
Throughout medical school I