The Indian Association of Psychiatry Trainees (IAPT) was founded on World mental health day 2020 in Bangalore. The theme for that day was a greater investment, greater access and this rings true even for psychiatry training services: greater investment for the training of psychiatrists and greater access to overcome existing disparities. It is the first association aimed at the welfare of psychiatry trainees in India with the motto ‘Connecting and collaborating to overcome inequities: greater investments for Indian Psychiatry trainees by them. The situation with regard to the training of psychiatry residents in India is fraught with inequity in terms of access to knowledge and training resources. India trains almost 1000 doctors yearly to be psychiatrists. The issues faced by trainees and early career psychiatrists have not been systematically studied or reported. The training curricula have not been updated in recent times. Disparities in access and availability of mentorship resources, career guidance, research collaboration opportunities, psychotherapy, and brain stimulation practices result in training inequities which may manifest later as gaps in service provision.
The IAPT has three chief mandates. Firstly, is to emphasize academic growth and imbibition of professional skills. The association aims to bridge over academic and training inequities by organizing events like online conferences, skills workshops, debates, discussions, and many similar programs. The second mandate is for the development of peer connections such as trainee to trainee, trainee to early career professionals, early career professionals with early career professionals as well as providing a unique mentorship exchange platform where mentors and mentees can get connected. Emphasis on collaboration for research, service provisions, community programs, supports for undergraduate medical students wishing to pursue psychiatry will also be placed. Discussions on improvements for training, changes to training curricula, and formulations of proposals along with periodic reviews. Better linkages of early-career professionals with seasoned experts will be used to provide career guidance in the development, all members will be encouraged to aid in the provision of community mental health services, collaborate with NGOs, and by community leaders. Alongside national interlinking, international networking is our third mandate. We shall undertake efforts to help our neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam to develop national trainee associations or early career chapters within their national psychiatry associations; building up to be an Asian Federation of Psychiatry Trainees – interest group. The federation will also work towards establishing a journal for psychiatrists and early trainees. The IAPT will soon launch its own newsletter ‘Vox psychiatria’. We are inviting trainee psychiatrists, early career psychiatrists (within the first decade of qualifying as a psychiatrist), and senior psychiatrists to be faculty mentors. Membership fees are a nominal yearly subscription.
We, founding members of the IAPT hope and pray for your best wishes for all IAPT’s endeavors!