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Training status of child and adolescent psychiatrists in China

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The number of children and adolescents with mental disorders in China is increasing year by year, but the child and adolescent psychiatrists (CAPs) remain very scarce. So far, there is only a national psychiatrist certification system, and no child and adolescent psychiatrist certification system. Instead, the psychiatrist can receive the post-graduation training certificate or nationally approved Ph.D. and Master's degree training certificate for becoming a CAP. Currently, studies on the training status of CAPs in China are unavailable. This study investigated the current training status of CAPs in China intending to improve the relevant training programs. Self-developed questionnaires were distributed to 28 Executive Committee members of Chinese Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 32 training hospitals which Nationally approved Ph.D. and Master's degree training base for child and adolescent psychiatry or post-graduation training (Intern and Fellow) base for child and adolescent psychiatry in 14 provinces and municipalities for collecting necessary information of the respondents, and evaluation of current education and training. Using the descriptive analysis for statistical analysis to understand the current training status of child psychiatrists in China. A total of 28 valid questionnaires were returned. The training units were concentrated in large- and medium-sized cities. Moreover, the current medical personnel in China for diagnosing and treatment of children and adolescents with mental disorders was small in number with fixed learning modes. For the training of CAPs, the scientific basis of the training content, as well as the practicality of the training content, and the ability to solve problems, are not sufficient. Furthermore, the effects of current educational training of CAPs regarding teaching and professional, scientific research abilities remained relatively weak. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on training comprehensive qualities and abilities, such as the spirit of dedication. Currently, physicians who have received post-graduate training or Ph.D. and Master's degree training in child and adolescent psychiatry in China are very scarce. Although CAPs have a long history of training, post-graduate, or doctoral master's degree training is mainly a training method. And, the national specialized certification system for CAPs pilot in major cities. The training system of CAPs should be further improved in the future, and the number of CAPs should be increased.

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Supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China: Comprehensive Intervention Strategies for Chronic Non-communicable Diseases with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Project No.: 2016YPC1306100; Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals youth Programme, code: QML20171904.

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Correspondence to Yi Zheng.

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On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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No ethical approval was required for the information-gathering in this study, as it did not involve the collection of personal information or biological material.

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This article is part of the focused issue ‘The European and Global Perspective on Training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’.

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He, F., Chen, S., Ke, X. et al. Training status of child and adolescent psychiatrists in China. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 29, 83–88 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-019-01453-y

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  • Child and adolescent psychiatrist
  • Education
  • Training status
  • China