Child and adolescent psychiatry
Childhood psychiatric problems are less intractable than their adult counterparts. Jonathon Goldin reviews the branch of psychiatry with development on its side
- By: Jonathon Goldin
Child and adolescent psychiatry is the subspecialty of psychiatry that addresses the emotional and behavioural difficulties of children from birth until school leaving age or even beyond. The child psychiatrist, working as part of a multidisciplinary team, aims to alleviate the distress of children and their families where such difficulties exist. It is a relatively young specialty, which is gaining in importance, and this is matched by a recent expansion in the number of consultant posts available.
Child and adolescent psychiatrists are all qualified doctors. Medical students could consider doing an elective in child psychiatry to increase exposure to a specialty that does not feature prominently in the medical school curriculum. After the year as a preregistration house officer, consider gaining experience in other medical specialties, particularly paediatrics, before embarking on basic training in psychiatry. This usually lasts two to four years with attachments of six months to one year