Letter to the Editor, The Medical Post in response to article, « The Incredible Shrinking Profession. Psychiatry: A profession in decline? »
I am writing to express my disappointment with the cover story of October 21, 2014 for The Medical Post entitled: The Incredible Shrinking Profession / Psychiatry: A profession in decline?.
As you are aware, the Canadian Psychiatric Association annual meeting attracts nearly 1,200 psychiatrists from across Canada to over 130 courses and sessions. It is surprising that you would focus on a small group session of 30 participants, who were tasked to comment on a deliberately controversial subject, for a front page story which is misleading in scope and denigrating to the profession.
At a time when doctors across the country are trying to decrease the stigma of mental illness and its treatment, The Medical Post is adding to the negative rhetoric. I am concerned that patients reading your article may be dissuaded from seeking help for mental health issues. The slang expressions and derogatory allusions used by the Medical Post were unnecessary, and beneath a paper which purports to provide news for doctors.
As an example, you could have reported on our session entitled: “The Future of Psychiatry, Integrating the Health Care System, Education and the Patient”, which attracted over 250 participants. The word cloud generated from those attending identified “Change, Collaboration, and Hope” as key messages for the future of psychiatry. Instead, you chose to write a story which is simply disrespectful. In doing so, you have done a disservice to our profession and to those we serve.
I hope your future articles are less pejorative and more sensitive to the issues facing doctors and their patients.
Dr. Padraic Carr, President, Canadian Psychiatric Association, Ottawa, ON