Apart from the professional qualifications there are many attributes that we must look for in our psychiatric doctor. Unlike other doctors he is not expected to examine us physically and determine our course of treatment but has to have the ability and most importantly the patience and the empathy that is essential to arrive at a proper medical conclusion. He needs to be the perfect balance between a rational medical professional while not forgetting the fact that the patient is trusting and expecting him to understand them not only as a doctor but as a friend or at least a fellow human being. Though it may sound like this is something anybody can pull off, it is not. We seldom realize that we are not very responsible in processing the information we receive form others. Often we let our personal opinions and notion on right and wrong determine if the information we are being trusted with is being digested by us in a reasonable manner. That is a battle psychiatric professionals, especially the ones who conduct a forensic psychiatric assessment Australia has to live through every day.
The fitness for trial assessment is where psychiatric specialist is expected to determine if the said individual has the mental capacity to appear in court proceeding, this can be in form of both the defendant and a witness. In the case of a defendant an evaluation needs to be carried out to arrive at the fact that the accused is able to liaise with his lawyers and understand the implications of the charges he is indicted for.
As a defendant, one should be able to testify soundly and it is important to be confidant that he has the mentality of an average person as upon his words a man will be sentenced to prison or even worse. To understand the intentions and the status of mind in a complete stranger is definitely not every body’s cup of tea and to see through each pretence and vulnerability calls for more than a degree in psychiatry.Above all a psychiatric physician needs to have the intellectual and presence of mind to determine where ‘’doctor patient conviviality’’ ends and his civic duty to report any intended abuse or violence begins and this is often a grey area and also for most of us commoners, a deal breaker!So we really must applaud who ever has taken on the responsibility to care about the mental wellbeing of others because let me tell you, it is definitely a lot to take on!