A RECENT report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists said one in 10 consultant psychiatrist roles is currently unfilled in NHS organisations in England and that vacancies had doubled in the past four years. Wales is also having difficulties filling posts, with vacancies of 9%.

While the Royal College president Wendy Burn publicly lamented the difficulties being faced, it’s not a new problem for the psychiatric profession.

Several recent presidents have tried and failed to change the public perception of psychiatry, where it’s become commonplace to hear non-psychiatrists – and frequently psychiatrists themselves – referring to psychiatrists as not being ‘proper’ doctors.

There are many schools of thought as to why psychiatry fails to attract new recruits. One of them concerns results, which has seen the profession tagged with the term ‘no science – no cures.’

Psychiatrists promote mental health as being of equal priority to physical health. So just as physical health would be the outcome of effective physical healing, so would mental health have to be the outcome of effective mental healing. 

The harsh reality however is that this idea breaks down when contrasting the results of physical healing to the results of what passes for mental treatment today. In simple terms, while medical cures exist, psychiatric ones don’t. Under the management of psychiatry today, there is no mental healing.

Real recovery is the forte of real doctors who practice real medicine, not psychiatry. It is perhaps a validation of postgraduate medical students who are not accepting the psychiatric recruitment spin, who are thinking for themselves, and who are progressing towards medicine that adheres to the Hippocratic Oath.
Brian Daniels
National Spokesperson
Citizen Commission on Human Rights
East Grinstead