In Defense of Child Psychiatry: A Note from the Editors
We, the editorial board, do not feel that Dr. Frances’s assessment of child psychiatrists or child psychiatric practice is entirely correct. Inappropriate and excessive use of medication is a real concern, however, and the solution is, in our view, two-fold.
First, because primary care physicians—many of whom had just six weeks of psychiatry training in medical school—prescribe 80+% of the psych meds to kids in the US, education for primary care and pediatric clinicians is crucial, as is education on psychotherapy and other non-psychopharmacologic treatments for training child psychiatrists.
Second, we must improve access to care and break down the barriers (financial and administrative) that keep our patients from the high-quality services that they need, at home, at school, and in the community. Child psychiatrists can be at the forefront of these changes through advocacy and education, both in our local communities and around the world.