Didactics, Seminars, and Conferences


Resident conferences are held each Wednesday afternoon.

The majority of our didactics and seminars are provided in a small-group format, providing ample opportunity for residents to interact and engage in active learning. Doctors and community programs present throughout the year. Most lectures target a particular developmental stage, and prepare residents for relevant milestones they are expected to master. Our didactics are protected educational time. Before attending didactics, residents sign out to a covering faculty member, and all pages/calls are routed to the covering faculty member.


Interviewing, Listening, and Being Psychotherapeutic: During inpatient psychiatry rotation, residents will have the opportunity to participate in numerous observed clinical experiences in their first year. The seminar is divided into two halves: During the first half, residents will observe interviews done by faculty members, and they will discuss interviewing styles and patient characteristics. During the second half of the seminar, residents interview patients in front of their peers and the interviews are discussed and critiqued. Discussion reviews clinical diagnosis, mental status, formulation, and treatment management. Particular attention is paid to interviewing styles, as different approaches are required for different patients. Residents are introduced to Brief Psychotherapy techniques and various indications and limitations. Everything we do as psychiatrists is therapeutic and this is emphasized.


Skills Targeted by PGY Level


Foundations of Psychiatry: Overview of the primary psychiatric disorders, focusing on assessment, intervention (including psychotherapeutic, psychopharmacologic, and psychosocial interventions), available research, and neuroscience.


Subspecialty Topics in Psychiatry: Targets subspecialty areas of practice within psychiatry, many of which will be experienced through clinical rotations during the second year. Topics include Forensic Psychiatry, Child-Adolescent Psychiatry/Developmental Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Clinical Neuropsychiatry, Geropsychiatry, and Research Methods in Psychiatry. It also includes an overview on the History of Psychiatry, intended to provide a deeper familiarity and appreciation for the origin of this noble profession.


Clinical Psychopharmacology: in-depth presentation of the psychopharmacotherapy of psychosis, major depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, severe character pathology, as well as special topics. Links are consistently made between clinical aspects and neurobiology/neuroscience. An introduction to the conduct of clinical research is also included.


Advanced Neuropsychopharmacology: Advanced new investigational treatments in relation to clinical neurosciences, neurobiology and neuropsychopharmacology that are relevant to clinical practice. Incorporate reviews in basic neuroscience concepts in preparation for more detailed assessment of psychopharmacological drug action in the brain. Segment might include translation of genetic, biochemical, and neuroendocrine data from animal models to development of therapeutic drugs relevant to treatment of psychiatric disorders as appropriate. The current mechanisms of drug action underlying treatment of specific disorders. A research module might be included to discuss reviewing the literature, critical thinking, and experimental design/analysis, where Residents are also assigned papers to present to the group for critical review.

Other Seminars:

Foundations of Psychotherapy Seminar: This didactic series provides an overview of various psychotherapeutic modalities, and familiarizes residents with the evidence supporting these treatments, specific indications for each treatment, and techniques used in each of these therapies. Developmental and life span issues are addressed, as are cultural competence, and legal/ethical issues in the conduct of psychotherapy.

Psychotherapy Case Conference: Residents will discuss their psychotherapy cases with peers and learn from the insight and guidance of two accomplished therapists. As cases are discussed, residents simultaneously learn practical skills in psychodynamic therapy and in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and topics from the didactic seminar are reinforced in a clinical context.

Public Sector Psychiatry: This investigates a variety of central issues in public sector psychiatry. Areas discussed include comprehensive care for chronic mental illness, systems of care, continuity in treatment, multidisciplinary issues, historical and political aspects, and specialized current treatment programs and strategies. There is also a focus on cross-cultural issues.

Contemporary Health System Issues: Includes a series of presentations by experts in public health and administration. It focuses on issues in the evolving health care field, with particular emphasis on service delivery, politics, and administration. A portion of the course focuses on career options.

Special Topics Seminar: A review of advanced topics in clinical psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, neuroscience relevant to psychiatry and psychotherapy, and it includes a “Life After Graduation” component to help residents have a smooth transition to the “real world” as residency comes to an end.

Med/Psych Case Conference: Each resident presents an interesting case on specific dates of the year. This focuses on the correlation of medical problems with psychiatric conditions.