CPD Online eNewsletter February 2014

Welcome to the February 2014 CPD Online eNewsletter



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Educational feature:

A general perspective

By Dr Suhaib Bin Bilal Hafi, CPD Online Trainee Editor


Searching binoculars

As a senior trainee in psychiatry I easily forget that the proliferation of functional subspecialisation in psychiatry is a relatively new phenomenon. It has principally been brought about through the widespread adoption of functional models of care leading to ever more specialised job descriptions. Senior colleagues reflect that not long ago they were expected to care for the same patients across a wide variety of settings, from community through outpatient to inpatient. Clearly there are advantages to subspecialisation, such as directed expertise, focusing of resources and clinicians being able to pursue a subspecialty of particular interest. However, many colleagues share at least some feelings of unease that, in this drive for specialisation, something beyond mere continuity of care is being lost.


One particular disadvantage of subspecialisation is the challenge to maintain an understanding of developments across the whole range of psychiatry and thus preserve access to a general perspective. Increasing pressure to subspecialise can easily affect our continuous professional development. We risk, eventually, knowing everything about one subject and nothing about anything else.


Here at CPD Online, we celebrate both specialist and generalist perspectives, providing learning in general areas of psychiatry as well as the different subspecialities. CPD Online encourages psychiatrists of the modern era to continuously develop their understanding of the broad variety of disciplines they originally trained in, to maintain an up-to-date, general perspective. For example, the new module on Psychiatric intensive care should be of interest to all senior clinicians in mental health. The more our understanding of treatment and care across the board remains up to date, the greater a sense of continuity of care we can offer our patients, and the more effective and satisfying our practice will be. 


New module:

man with hands infront of face

  Psychiatric intensive care
Did you know that the majority of patients in the psychiatric intensive care ward (PICU) are male and have a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia? Are you aware of the four dimensions that ensure security on the ward? From this module you will gain a full understanding of a PICU and its patients, and best practice in clinical management.


New podcast:

Vicky Pryce, author of 'Prisonomics', talks with Dr Raj Persaud about the prison population, their psychology, and potential alternatives to prison.


Forthcoming modules:

Complementary alternative medicines for ADHD and ASD

Problem psychiatrists: introduction to dealing with poor performance

  Hepatitis C and mental illness [Revised & updated by the authors October 2013]
It is estimated that around 216,000 individuals in the UK are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) (Health Protection Agency, 2012). Psychiatrists need to be aware of the important and complex issues involved in the treatment of substance misuse disorders presenting with co-occurring severe mental illness and HCV infection. The aim of this module is to explore the relationship between hepatitis C and mental health and to offer guidance on management. This is particularly applicable to substance misuse and liaison psychiatrists as they deal with the complex areas of hepatitis C, substance misuse and the effects on physical and mental health.


View the most popular modules and podcasts over the past month

New from Advances in Psychiatric Treatment:


  Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: aetiology, diagnosis and management
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) can cause significant distress, disability and loss of income. Three-quarters of patients with PNES are initially misdiagnosed and treated for epilepsy, thus exposing them to iatrogenic harm and preventing them from accessing psychological treatment. Oto & Reuber discuss the diverse underlying causes of PNES and differential diagnosis of PNES and epilepsy.
Communication   Communicating with people with intellectual disabilities: a guide for general psychiatrists
Good communication is central to psychiatric consultation. Boardman et al consider the additional impairments that occur in people with intellectual disabilities who use psychiatric services and describe practical steps that can be taken by clinicians and service providers to overcome these impairments, to make reasonable adjustments and to ensure that patients obtain maximum benefit from services.



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With best wishes,

The CPD Online Team





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