Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 38, Issue 5, pp 611–614 | Cite as

The Development and Evaluation of a Trauma Curriculum for Psychiatry Residents

  • Noor Jarun FerrellEmail author
  • Bengi Melton
  • Sophia Banu
  • John Coverdale
  • M. Renee Valdez
In Brief Report



This study aims to briefly describe a curriculum on trauma in order to help other educators in their own planning and development of teaching on trauma.


The 12-week course was offered to third-year psychiatry residents as part of their didactics scheduling. The classes included information on a wide variety of types of trauma including natural disasters, childhood trauma, refugee trauma, survivors of torture, intimate partner violence, and military sexual trauma. The course also offered techniques in therapy informed by transference and countertransference along with role-playing activities with the resident participants. Residents completed a pre- and postcourse survey in order to assess the attitudes, comfort, and knowledge in screening for trauma exposure.


The proportion of residents who reported that it was very important to screen for trauma increased. Similarly, the proportion of residents who indicated they now screen for trauma increased as well. However, these were nonsignificant changes. There was no change in the proportion of residents who felt comfortable assessing for trauma before and after the curriculum. Even after the course, almost half of the respondents reported that they were still not comfortable in asking about refugee’s experience of trauma or torture


More residents reported that they screen for trauma after the curriculum. An ongoing development and evaluation of model curricula including possible expansion across specialties and health-care disciplines is warranted for this critically important topic area.


Trauma assessments Teaching trauma  



The authors thank Dr. David Graham, M.D. for statistical analysis and Dr. Ali Abbas Asghar-Ali for editing comments.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noor Jarun Ferrell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bengi Melton
    • 1
  • Sophia Banu
    • 1
  • John Coverdale
    • 1
  • M. Renee Valdez
    • 2
  1. 1.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Texas A&M Health Science CenterRound RockUSA

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