For many doctors, the only exposure to psychiatry is during a rotation in medical school. The knowledge, interest, and attitudes formed in those few weeks will hopefully last throughout their medical careers. Unless they choose to specialise in psychiatry or other related disciplines that include aspects of psychological care, this exposure is very much dependent on the individual doctor’s subsequent conscious acquisition of knowledge in this area to support patient care. This is important, as psychological care is a crucial component of holistic care, viz. the World Health Organization (WHO) dictum, “there is no health without mental health”. Attitudes to psychiatry affect personal and professional behaviours, even amongst psychiatrists and mental health nurses who have been found to hold the same prejudices as primary care teams about schizophrenic patients.
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