Our primary objective was to determine the continuing medical education needs of family physicians involved in the Transition into Primary Care Psychiatry (TIPP) program and secondly to assess fulfillment of Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) roles by TIPP associated family physicians. Family physicians were asked about educational needs, comfort levels, attitudes and beliefs towards mental illness, and perceptions of supports that could enhance the management of patients with enduring mental illnesses. Patients were asked for feedback assessing the patient-family physician relationship. Of the 25 (71%) responses received from family physicians all suggested areas for improving primary mental health care knowledge were considered important, Media/Video presentation was the least preferred CME format. They do not believe they have enough training or time to adequately address their patients mental health needs and collaborative supports for mental health care were preferred. The 37 (77%) responses from patients revealed a need for greater communication from family physicians; however, the overall level of satisfaction with treatment from TIPP family physicians was high. In conclusion, various topics and interactive formats should be offered in CME programs with particular attention paid to the time constraints of the primary care setting. Opportunities should be sought enhancing CME with collaborative care practices. TIPP associated primary care physicians are perceived to deliver satisfactory services by most mental health patients across all CanMED domains; areas of improvement largely revolve around communication in various contexts.
Keywords: Continuing medical education, primary care, serious mental illness, shared care
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