Wednesday, 7 July 1993

Evaluation of a Psychiatric Training Scheme

With interest the article 'Evaluation of a Psychiatric Training Scheme' by Khan and Oycbode (Psychiatric Bulletin, March 1993, 17, 158-159). We have kept similar records for the Mersey Region Training Scheme - formerly the Liverpool Training Scheme, and have published data from them in the Bulletin (Birchall & Higgins, 1991). Our records now cover seven years from August 1985to July 1992and it is interesting to compare the two schemes. The Mersey Region Training Scheme now covers all psychiatric units in the Mersey region and includes 37 registrar posts and 49 senior house officer posts, although 12-16 SHO posts are usually filled by general practice trainees. Most psychiatric trainees join the Mersey Scheme at SHO level, often straight from house officer posts. This results in a fairly high dropout rate at the SHO level. From 112 to 434 leaving the scheme in the seven years, 50 of them left without completing four years of training in psychiatry, and of these 16 went into general practice and 19 Continued psychiatric training either part-time in the Mersey region or full-time elsewhere. In our paper mentioned above, we found that the average length of stay in the scheme for these trainees was 1 year 7 months. If only the trainees who completed four years of psychiatric training are considered, out of 62 trainees (100%), 39 (63%) gained senior registrar posts, eight (13%) went abroad, either immigrating or returning home, and only five (8%) failed to pass the 

MRCPsych examinations. improves the trainees' chances of passing the Membership examinations and of obtaining senior registrar posts. The advantage of a region-wide scheme such as the Mersey Scheme is that all trainees gain experience of working in the peripheral hospitals and in the teaching hospitals and therefore all trainees in the region enjoy equal opportunities for progression in their career.


Khan, A, Oyebode, F. Evaluation of a psychiatric training scheme. Psychiatr Bull 1993; 17: 158–9.

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