Rogert

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So what are people's thoughts on psychiatry in the military?

This is intended to be an open ended question so anyone just spout off whatever thoughts or opinions you have related to the subject. However, I would be personally interested in the general long term outlook of the field, skill atrophy, and quality of patient care.
 
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Rogert

Rogert

Grumpy Gorilla
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Aug 6, 2014
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Is that a "psychs aren't real doctors" jab or an actual question? Just want to be clear.
 

SuperSoccer19

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Feel free to PM with questions if this is what you are interested in. Have a bit of experience here.
 

sonofva

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I mean I think the patient pool will be skewed a bit from civilian practice. You'll see a lot of young men/women who are away from home for the first time in high stress which is a ripe time for presentation of psych illness. A lot of personality disorders. Lots of tbi/PTSD. May pop was a army psych and his training was good per him. He did good on civ side afterward, and he was always seeing some crazy cases
 

notdeadyet

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So what are people's thoughts on psychiatry in the military?
What is your question? If you have something specific, folks will likely be able to help you out...
This is intended to be an open ended question so anyone just spout off whatever thoughts or opinions you have related to the subject.
No. Too busy.
However, I would be personally interested in the general long term outlook of the field, skill atrophy, and quality of patient care.
Outlook? Good long term outlook, both civilian and military. Increasing awareness of mental illness both civilian and military side. Very underserved in terms of psychiatrists in the pipeline vs. need.

Skill atrophy? Not sure what you're asking. Any skills you have will atrophy if underused. If you're a surgeon with poor case volume, your skills will start to wither. For military psychiatry, your training and post-residency skills will get plenty of practice, though both will skew towards the bread-and-butter (anxiety, depression, etc.) as more severe pathology and chronic patholody ends up getting medically discharged and not under your care.

If you're asking if your physical medicine skills will wither as a psychiatrist, the answer is yes. This is not unique to psychiatry. This is true of all medicine. You do not want a psychiatrist splinting broken bones. Likewise, you do not want a surgeon trying to manage a rash you've developed. Ask an EM doc how many antibiotics they typically use. The goal of medical school is to find what skills you most love and want to develop, not worry about which ones you will start to lose. No matter what you go into, you will lose the skills you don't use. Specifically for psych, if you want to keep your phsyical medicine skills, this can be somewhat offset by practicing on an inpatient unit, where you manage a fair bit of medical co-morbidities (though again, the military environment is not the best for this).

Quality of patient care? Like anything else, it's good when delivered by good psychiatrists, it's bad when delivered by bad psychiatrists. There are plenty of awful military psychiatrists, but there are definitely plenty of awful civilian psychiatrists. There is nothing inherent in the military psychiatric residency programs that would limit your abilities to become a good psychiatrist and there aren't any overwhelming barriers in the military environment that would prevent you from delivering quality care.
 
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