School of Psychiatry


General adult psychiatry

Why choose General Adult Psychiatry:

Psychiatric problems are the most common reason for GP attendance and community prevalence rates for psychiatric disorder are 10-30%, with much higher rates in other settings (e.g. 50% on medical wards). The World Health Organisation has estimated that psychiatric disorders are now the single biggest cause of disability worldwide and suicide is the third most common cause of death in younger people. 

Around 10% of all hospital consultants are psychiatrists, who specialise in different aspects of psychiatry including adult, old age, child and adolescent, learning disability, hospital liaison, forensic (i.e. legal and criminal aspects) and psychotherapy. Psychiatry is a broad based specialty and although a holistic approach is necessary it can cater for those with a variety of interests and skills, ranging from those mainly interested in psychological treatments/ psychotherapy through to those with a more biological/organic orientation. Despite common misperceptions, a range of effective psychological (talking) & pharmacological treatments are available and, although many psychiatric disorders can be serious and chronic, most patients recover. Those who don’t can still be helped to a significant extent to improve their quality of life.

As a trainee what can I expect from my training programme?

After three years of core psychiatric training trainees will compete for higher specialist training in one of six sub-specialties (general adult psychiatry, old age psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, learning disability psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and psychotherapy) at ST4-6 level. Although entry at ST4 is competitive, psychiatry is still a shortage specialty and nearly all trainees with competencies are able to obtain a higher training place, the vast majority in their sub-specialty of choice. Three years of higher specialist training will ensue, leading to completion of training and the award of a CCT. During higher training, although there are no formal examinations, progress continues to be monitored and trainees work to a comprehensive curriculum according to their sub-specialty of choice. At least one day a week is available either for research or for special interest study and participation in research for higher trainees is strongly encouraged. Higher specialist trainees have a varied role which allows them to develop skills in supervising junior staff, teaching, working within and leading multidisciplinary teams and obtaining further specialist skills according to their areas of interest. In recent years all trainees have obtained consultant posts, the vast majority within the region.

What our trainees say:

I have a busy but very manageable and well supported job, which is the way that I want it to be!

I enjoy the flexibility in my job, the friendliness and the support and encouragement from my Consultant and team members.

Constantly striving to provide the best possible holistic care for my patients is a challenge but highly satisfying.

If you are looking for variety, the ability for holistic patient care and a great satisfaction in what you do, go for General Adult Psychiatry!

You can expect to get a good mix of clinical, academic, research and leadership training which are highly essential to evolve as a successful Consultant.

Current vacancy information    (links to HEE website recruitment page) 

To find out more about our region and Trusts please visit the Find Your Place website.




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Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.