Just 12 doctors join IMA's psychiatry course in Telangana

There are six extra courses which have been started by IMA since last six years on the basis of the disease burden in the country.

Hyderabad: Only 12 general practitioners joined the psychiatry courses offered by Indian Medical Association in Telangana, in 2015-16. In 2016-17, there are no takers so far, said members of the association.

The IMA central body insists that at least 10 per cent of general practitioners must have the skills to diagnose a patient suffering from depression and anxiety which are the two leading mental health problems in the Indian populace.

There are six extra courses which have been started by IMA since last six years on the basis of the disease burden in the country. The general practitioners are trained in diabetology, cardiology, ultra sonography, paediatrics, psychiatry and infertility.


While these courses are offered for one year, in the last six years, the psychiatry course was successfully conducted only in 2015-16. According to a senior IMA member in Telangana, the required strengthen is 40 for all these courses. “In the case of psychiatry, an exception was made. The rising problems of mental health are one of the prime reasons for the central body insisting that general practitioners be equipped to diagnose the disease.”

The ground reality is very different. General practitioners have been unwilling to come forward due to the attitude of the patients who are not willing to accept that they have a mental health problem.

Former IMA secretary Dr Yadgiri Rao said, “There were fewer takers for psychiatry because many doctors were scared that they would lose their patients. The reason is no patient walks in for cure of depression or anxiety. They come with problems of severe and continuous headaches, pains in the body, uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension and other physical ailments. They are comfortable when these physical aspects are diagnosed and treated. But when it comes to the underlying illness which is the root cause of the problem, patients are very touchy.”

This was found to be one of the prime reasons, why many general practitioners were not willing to come forward to opt for the course. Psychiatrist Dr Preeti Swarop told this newspaper, “The need of training GP’s has been felt since a long time as at the psychiatric level we are only getting severe cases of anxiety and depression. The mild and moderate cases are often undiagnosed. Due to that reason, it is becoming important to diagnose it at the earliest so that better treatment can be offered.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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