Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 135–140

Neuropsychiatry and Neuroscience Education of Psychiatry Trainees: Attitudes and Barriers

  • Sheldon Benjamin
  • Michael J. Travis
  • Joseph J. Cooper
  • Chandlee C. Dickey
  • Claudia L. Reardon
Empirical Report

DOI: 10.1007/s40596-014-0051-9

Cite this article as:
Benjamin, S., Travis, M.J., Cooper, J.J. et al. Acad Psychiatry (2014) 38: 135. doi:10.1007/s40596-014-0051-9



The American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT) Task Force on Neuropsychiatry and Neuroscience Education of Psychiatry Residents was established in 2011 with the charge to seek information about what the field of psychiatry considers the core topics in neuropsychiatry and neuroscience to which psychiatry residents should be exposed; whether there are any “competencies” in this area on which the field agrees; whether psychiatry departments have the internal capacity to teach these topics if they are desirable; and what the reception would be for “portable curricula” in neuroscience.


The task force reviewed the literature and developed a survey instrument to be administered nationwide to all psychiatry residency program directors. The AADPRT Executive Committee assisted with the survey review, and their feedback was incorporated into the final instrument.


In 2011–2012, 226 adult and child and adolescent psychiatry residency program directors responded to the survey, representing over half of all US adult and child psychiatry training directors. About three quarters indicated that faculty resources were available in their departments but 39 % felt the lack of neuropsychiatry faculty and 36 % felt the absence of neuroscience faculty to be significant barriers. Respectively, 64 and 60 % felt that neuropsychiatry and psychiatric neuroscience knowledge were very important or critically important to the provision of excellent care. Ninety-two percent were interested in access to portable neuroscience curricula.


There is widespread agreement among training directors on the importance of neuropsychiatry and neuroscience knowledge to general psychiatrists but barriers to training exist, including some programs that lack faculty resources and a dearth of portable curricula in these areas.


Psychiatric residency education Curriculum development Neuropsychiatry Next Accreditation System Milestones 

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheldon Benjamin
    • 1
  • Michael J. Travis
    • 2
  • Joseph J. Cooper
    • 3
  • Chandlee C. Dickey
    • 4
  • Claudia L. Reardon
    • 5
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.University of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  3. 3.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.V.A. Boston Healthcare SystemBrocktonUSA
  5. 5.University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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