Message from the President


Mental illness has been a severe challenge to mankind since time immemorial. Throughout history, efforts from different sectors of human civilisation have engaged the challenge, with variable measures of successes and frustrations. In this effort the medical profession of psychiatry has been playing a core role, at the fore-front of clinical care, research, and training. In Hong Kong, the profession has been blessed with a rich heritage, strong networks, and many talents. 


The Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists seeks to ensure that doctors who specialises in the treatment of mental disorders (psychiatrists) are well-trained and practises with a dedicated standard. It also furthers the societal roles of psychiatrists collectively, such as in promoting better understanding and lesser discriminations for mental disorders, and communicating about better care for mental disorders.


Mental disorders are very challenging conditions. In contrast to other illnesses, mental disorders strikes at brain systems that are at the very heart of human personhood: interpretations of the environment, decisions, personality, social relationships, subjective life experiences etc. could all be affected. Mental illnesses often extract costly consequences for the patient and the family. The nature of the illnesses can also make help-seeking and engagement extremely difficult.


To meet the challenges of mental disorders, high levels of skills and knowledge are required, and this comes only from long years of disciplined training and continuing efforts. The Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists provides the training framework and quality assurance for psychiatrists. It also provides for continuing education needs for the profession to keep abreast with ongoing developments.


Amongst all medical specialists, perhaps the psychiatrists is one that can least afford to simply busy himself in daily clinical routines to the exclusion of other developments. The astounding rate of progress in neuroscience and the complexity of the human brain demands a relentless pursue of knowledge in order to better understand and manage mental illnesses. The complexity of brain-environment interaction also requires the psychiatrist to be not only competent in brain sciences and pharmacology, but also be highly skilled at psychological and sociological understanding of patients experiences. In the College, professionals have a platform to mutual support and stimulation, not only locally, but with international sister bodies, towards this continual pursuit of excellence.


Professor Eric Chen 



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