Neuropsychiatrists specialise in the assessment and treatment of people with:
- Psychiatric symptoms arising in the context of recognised neurological disorders such as epilepsy, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
- Functional neurological disorders sometimes referred to as conversion disorders and dissociative disorders
- Psychiatric symptoms when there is concern that these are due to an underlying neurological process such as NMDA receptor encephalitis or systemic lupus erythematosus.
Neuropsychiatry is not endorsed as a sub-specialty by the GMC and therefore there is no formal training programme in the UK.
Most consultants in neuropsychiatry posts have had to devise a plan to meet their own training requirements according to the resources available to them. In order to assist in this process, the Faculty is working on both a curriculum and a syllabus to support trainees in identifying their needs.
A typical path taken by most established neuropsychiatrists involves training posts in both neurology and psychiatry at CT level, followed by ST posts in neuropsychiatry (of which there are few) or liaison psychiatry in which there is a significant neuropsychiatry component e.g. in regional neuroscience centres.
This may be supplemented by a series of structured special interest sessions organised through honorary clinical attachment placements within established neuropsychiatry services and/or by completing an MSc in Clinical Neuropsychiatry such as those available through Birmingham and Kings.
As neuropsychiatrists we work in one of the most interesting and challenging areas of psychiatric practice. At the interface between neurology and psychiatry, our jobs are varied and our service user base is wide. As a faculty we have opportunities to develop our specialty further, but to do this takes a coordinated effort.
Our mentoring service will provide a single point of contact who will then divert queries to nominated senior mentors throughout the UK - including Northern Ireland. These regional mentors will then use their expertise, knowledge and experience to provide answers to your career development questions.
Our scheme is open to doctors of all grades. Advice can also be given to medical students e.g. around project option placements in neuropsychiatry.
As a new scheme we would appreciate any feedback and a satisfaction questionnaire will be sent to all those who contact us.
In due course we will develop a Facebook page to further widen access to the mentoring scheme.
Full time consultant posts in neuropsychiatry are limited, however, the specialty is very much a developing one nationally.