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Hughes, P. Gibson, C. (1996). Meeting the Challenge: Teaching Psychotherapy to Medical Students: Part I: Students and Syllabus. Psychoanal. Psychother., 10(1):3-9.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 10(1):3-9

Meeting the Challenge: Teaching Psychotherapy to Medical Students: Part I: Students and Syllabus

Patricia Hughes and Christopher Gibson

Staff in the department were dissatisfied with the standard of their teaching and determined that psychotherapy should become an interesting subject for their students. Evaluation of the teaching showed that there was no stated syllabus to guide either teachers or students, and definition of the syllabus was the first task in reorganising the teaching. Effective reorganisation needed consideration of the nature and needs of the medical students, and some thought about what is relevant for them as future doctors. Teachers had to think from the students’ position and define a syllabus which is understandable to the students, and not assume that what is clear to the teacher is necessarily so to the students.

The undergraduate medical curriculum is currently changing, and all subjects are subject to rigorous scrutiny to determine whether or not they will continue to have a place in the new curriculum. If psychotherapists believe that their subject should be taught to medical students they must present a coherent syllabus which is demonstrably relevant to medical undergraduates.

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