The impact of bashing general practice and psychiatry at medical school
Is bad mouthing these specialties just harmless banter?
- By: Kathy Oxtoby
All specialties should have equal value—but it seems that some are more equal than others. An editorial published in the British Journal of General Practice by two of the country’s most senior doctors has highlighted the impact of the damaging “banter” about general practice and psychiatry that exists in UK medical schools.1
Although banter and humour are a familiar part of working in medicine, the authors of the editorial—Maureen Baker, the outgoing chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), and Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists—claim that the denigration of general practice and psychiatry in medical schools is contributing to a shortfall of doctors in these specialties and stifling efforts towards achieving parity of esteem between physical and mental health.
The editorial draws on research that shows that general practice and psychiatry are the two most “bad mouthed” specialties at medical schools.2
Baker believes that