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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 61 (2019) 3, 153 - 158


Training in psychiatry in Belgium through the eyes of the trainee

O. Cools, K. Hebbrecht

background In Belgium, psychiatry training is still organised by each university separately without a structured centralised funding plan for the financing of psychiatry trainees. Recently, the government has obliged trainers to integrate psychotherapy into psychiatry training.
aim An overview is provided of the current training in psychiatry in Belgium and the recent changes with regard to psychotherapy. Furthermore, the psychiatry trainees offer a critical appraisal of the existing programme.
method Results of a debate on ‘The role of psychotherapy in the training in psychiatry’ are presented. This debate was organised by the Flemish Association of Psychiatry Trainees for all Flemish trainees and psychiatrists. The Association also provide a critical appraisal of the current psychiatry training programme.
results Participants in the debate agreed that the integration of psychotherapy into the psychiatry training programme is a good development. Nevertheless, there were some concerns about the practical implementation given the already existing hours of training, combined with a high workload and extracurricular training. The Association formulated three bottlenecks in the current psychiatry training programme: the preponderance of clinical work, lack of uniformity in the training, and the lack of formal supervision.
conclusion A better balance is required between clinical work and education, and the pressure on the supervisor and trainee has to be lowered. Additional funding and restructuring of the training programme is needed for this. Expanding the interuniversity training programme with high quality theoretical teaching, as well as training of skills, seems to be a good solution.

keywords psychiatry trainee, psychiatry training, psychotherapy