Local clinical attachment scheme in psychiatry
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Clinical attachments are an essential step in the process by which international medical graduates (IMGs) secure training posts in the UK. Although the British Medical Association (BMA) provides general guidelines for clinical attachments, the current system lacks a structured process regarding selection, defined length of posts, predetermined contents of training and detailed guidance for consultants supervising clinical attachments in psychiatry. This article outlines the experience in Nottingham of developing a formalised clinical attachment scheme and includes the lessons learnt and difficulties faced during the process. Also presented are the results of feedback surveys from consultants and IMGs who have partaken in the new formalised scheme. Despite new regulations regarding training visas for IMGs, there will always be a demand for clinical attachments. It would be prudent to have national guidelines, central funding for a defined number of placements and incentives for consultants, college tutors and trusts to take on these attachments. To date, all attached doctors have given positive feedback about the selection process, the induction, the handbook and the level of clinical exposure and supervision. Feedback about the teaching seminars resulted in practical changes in their delivery, and the mentorship programme was reported as being inconsistent, with wide variations in mentor-mentee contact.