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Journal published by the Hellenic
Psychiatric Association


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In the second part of this diptych, we shall deal with psychiatric training in the United Kingdom in detail, and we will compare it –wherever this is meaningful– with the equivalent system in Greece. As explained in the first part of the paper, due to the recently increased emigration of Greek psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees, and the fact that the United Kingdom is a popular destination, it has become necessary to inform those aspiring to train in the United Kingdom of the system and the circumstances they should expect to encounter. This paper principally describes the structure of the United Kingdom’s psychiatric training system, including the different stages trainees progress through and their respective requirements and processes. Specifically, specialty and subspecialty options are described and explained, special paths in training are analysed, and the notions of “special interest day” and the optional “Out of programme experience” schemes are explained. Furthermore, detailed information is offered on the pivotal points of each of the stages of the training process, with special care to explain the important differences and similarities between the systems in Greece and the United Kingdom. Special attention is given to The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Membership Exams (MRCPsych) because they are the only exams towards completing specialisation in Psychiatry in the United Kingdom. Also, the educational culture of progressing according to a set curriculum, of utilising diverse means of professional development, of empowering the trainees’ autonomy by allowing initiative-based development and of applying peer supervision as a tool for professional development is stressed. We conclude that psychiatric training in the United Kingdom differs substantially to that of Greece in both structure and process. Τhere are various differences such as pure psychiatric training in the United Kingdom versus neurological and medical modules in Greece, in-training exams in the United Kingdom versus an exit exam in Greece, and of course the three years of higher training, which prepares trainees towards functioning as consultants. However, perhaps the most important difference is one of mentality; namely a culture of competency- based training progression in the United Kingdom, which further extends beyond training into professional revalidation. We believe that, with careful cultural adaptation, the systems of psychiatric training in the United Kingdom and Greece may benefit from sharing some of their features. Lastly, as previously clarified, this diptych paper is meant to be informative, not advisory.

Key words: Psychiatric training, Greece, United Kingdom, specialisation.

N. Christodoulou & K. Kasiakogia (page 55) - Full article