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Reading of the Week: Should Medical Education Stay in Its Lane? Goldfarb Argues Yes; Also, Problems in Youth (BJP) & Medical Memoirs (Lancet Psych)

From the Editor

What’s the best way of training future doctors?

Medical education has changed much over the years – schools across the country embraced the McMaster model, then cooled to it; efforts have been made to revisit core curriculum topics and add in more timely ones.

In the first selection, the University of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Stanley Goldfarb – a former associate dean of curriculum at the Perelman School of Medicine – bemoans the state of medical education. Controversially, he argues in The Wall Street Journal: “Curricula will increasingly focus on climate change, social inequities, gun violence, bias and other progressive causes only tangentially related to treating illness.”

Is he right? We discuss the essay and responses to the essay.

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In the next selection, we look at a new British Journal of Psychiatry paper. Drawing on a large dataset, the University College London’s Jessica Deighton and her co-authors study the rate of psychiatric problems among youths. “Findings reported here indicate the scale of mental health problems in children across many schools in England is much higher than previous estimates…”

And in the third selection, Dr. Linda Gask, a British psychiatrist, considers autobiographies written by physicians. “These stories can, in turn, inspire, impress, inform, engage, and even shock through the sharing of personal conflict and confessions…”

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Reading of the Week: Dr. Linda Gask’s New Book (Depression: Week 3 of 3)

This is a story about overcoming depression and also about coming to terms with loss. The two are closely related to each other. I know about this not just from my personal experience, but because I am a psychiatrist. I have specialised in treating those who suffer from the same problems which have afflicted me throughout my adult life. I’ve survived and come through it, and I know others can too.

So opens a new book by Dr. Linda Gask, a British psychiatrist. This Week’s Reading: an exclusive excerpt from The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Depression, which was just published by Summersdale Publishers Ltd.

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This Reading is the third part in a three-part series on depression.

Two weeks ago: a look at better psychopharmacological management.

Last week: consideration of better treatment in the primary care setting.

This Week: a look at the burden of illness on the patient and the psychiatrist.

(And this isn’t Mad Men Season 4. Miss a week and you aren’t lost.)

Dr. Gask has had a remarkable career. Beyond clinical work, she’s had a sparkling academic career, with a focus on mental-health policy and practice. She’s published papers and book chapters; she’s trained residents; she’s lectured all over the world. She was a Harkness Fellow at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington. And she has also worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization and with the World Psychiatric Association.

GaskDr. Linda Gask

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