The unmet educational agenda in integrated care

J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2009 Mar;16(1):94-100. doi: 10.1007/s10880-008-9138-3. Epub 2008 Dec 28.


One of the reasons integrated care has not become a dominant service delivery model is the unmet training agenda. This article argues that the typical mental health professional is not trained to adequately address the challenges of integrated care. To insure competency both a macro and clinical training agenda are needed. At the macro-level, mental health professionals need to understand healthcare economics and basic business principles as any integrated care service delivery system is embedded and driven by economic forces. Integrated care practitioners also need some basic business skills to understand these forces and to create and manage a financially viable system, given the future flux of the system. Traditional mental health professionals also do not have the clinical skills to implement integrated care. Integrated care is not simply placing a traditionally trained mental health professional and letting them practice specialty mental health in a medical setting. Thus, the special skills needed in integrated care are enumerated and discussed. Finally, a new degree program is described as it is time given the huge need and advantages of integrated care to develop specialty training in integrated care.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Delivery of Health Care, Integrated / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical / trends*
  • Forecasting
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • United States