Training

In some medical schools, departments of psychosomatic medicine, medical psychology, or oncology offer training to medical students in doctor-patient communication (e.g., on the topic of breaking bad news to patients and family members) (Kopecky-Wenzel et al. 2007, 2009). Training in child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy lasts a minimum of 5 years, 4 of which must be done under the auspices of a person accredited as a program director by the Board of Physicians. One year must be completed either in pediatrics, psychiatry, or adult psychosomatic medicine. Training concludes with a certification examination administered by the Board of Physicians. Adult psychiatry has two distinct recognized specialties, one of psychiatry and psychotherapy and one of psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, each with a 5-year training program. General practitioners may practice "psychosomatic basic care" after completing 30 hours in a Balint group focused on aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, 20 hours of theory, and 30 hours of acquiring skills in techniques of verbal intervention (Ruger et al. 2002).

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