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Didactic Curriculum

Click here to view the PGY 1 Didactic Curriculum Overview  

First Post-Graduate Year (R-1)

Intern didactics are focused on building foundational knowledge and skills.  The curriculum is divided into two sections.  The first consists of 3, week-long Learning Modules which are scheduled at the beginning of the academic year, the beginning of the inpatient psychiatry immersion, and the end of the academic year.  The Learning Modules focus on essential knowledge for the early resident, including basic psychopharmacology, suicide risk assessment, cultural psychiatry, and intensive training in the use of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID) and measurement-based assessment – critical components of modern psychiatric care.

The curriculum during the 4 month inpatient psychiatry block focuses on foundational skills. The block begins and ends with a full day session in the psychiatry simulation lab during which interns practice the diagnostic interview (with standardized patients), oral case presentation, and written formulation.

During the 4 month immersion, interns participate in four weekly classes.

  1. Interview Class: this ninety minute class emphasizes Cole and Bird’s 3 Function Approach. Each class incorporates micro skills practice and interview of live patients with near-peer feedback. In addition, the class observes a master clinician interview a patient on a regular basis.
  2. Formulation Class: the psychiatric formulation class helps interns learn how to construct a biopsychosocial formulation of a patient. This class incorporates practice with patient cases and characters from movies and literature, feedback, and consultation with biological, psychological and social experts.
  3. The EBM in Clinical Practice Class: this ninety minute case conference has 3 goals: improving oral case presentation skills; learning foundational knowledge about common disorders; and practicing EBM skills. 
  4. The Supportive Psychotherapy Class: this course teaches residents the techniques of supportive psychotherapy, especially as applied to patients in the inpatient setting. 

A weekly Support Group for all interns provides the opportunity to reflect on the process of developing one’s identity as a physician.

Click here to view the PGY 2-4 Didactic Curriculum Overview  

Second Post-Graduate Year (R-2)

The second year didactics build on the first year with deeper coverage of the somatic understanding of psychiatric illness and treatment in the Psychobiology and Neuroscience Course.  Experts provide basic knowledge and the cutting edge of research.  Subspecialty areas of child and adolescent psychiatry, consultation liaison psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, addiction psychiatry as well as ethics are also covered in the R-2 didactic curriculum.  The Psychotherapies course provides a foundation on the process of psychotherapy, and paves the way for more in depth exploration in the R3 year.

R-2 residents also participate in a Research Mentorship in which groups of 4-5 residents are each paired with psychiatrists and psychologists from the Department of Research to develop a research proposal.  Residents start with a clinical question, develop a research proposal to answer the question, perform all the necessary background research to develop a potential study, and then present their proposal to the research staff at the end of the year.  The goal of the Research Mentorship is for residents to gain a better understanding of research methodology, with a focus on the process of developing a clinical question into a research study.

Third and Fourth Post-Graduate Year (R-3 and R-4)

The third and fourth year didactic curricula delve deeper into understanding evidence based psychotherapies with an extensive curriculum that includes brief therapies, couples therapy, group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy.   In addition, there are advanced courses in psychopharmacology, including courses focused on the treatment of patients in the outpatient setting and the Psychopharmacology Case Conference, where residents present and explore the evidence-base for treatment resistant clinical cases.

Fourth year residents are also provided Board Preparation courses in both Psychiatry and Neurology.

All Residents

Residents from all classes gather regularly for several different types of learning sessions:

  • Weekly Grand Rounds with expert speakers from around the world.
  • Monthly Journal Club
  • Retrospective Case Learning Series
  • Review of Core Topics in Psychiatry


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