Undergraduate learning in psychiatry: can we prepare our future medical graduates better?

Ir J Psychol Med. 2020 Jun;37(2):73-76. doi: 10.1017/ipm.2020.16. Epub 2020 Apr 30.


Irish medical schools attract an increasingly diverse student population and produce graduates who will practise in many parts of the world. There are particular implications in this for the planning and delivery of the undergraduate psychiatry curriculum. In all countries, mental health services struggle for equitable resourcing, and mental health care within general medical services remains relatively neglected. The traditional undergraduate psychiatry offering has been justifiably criticised for being excessively oriented towards secondary care when the vast majority of medical graduates will pursue careers in primary care or in specialties other than psychiatry. Recently published articles in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine address the current challenges and opportunities in providing an undergraduate experience that better prepares students for the mental health aspects of medical practice in a global context. We summarise and discuss these contributions and the recent Royal College of Psychiatrists publication Choose Psychiatry: Guidance for Medical Schools.

Keywords: Psychiatry; medical students; undergraduate medical education.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Psychiatry*
  • Schools, Medical*
  • Students