Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 167–175 | Cite as

Teaching Psychopharmacology: Two Trainees’ Perspectives

Perspective

Abstract

Objective

To describe our experience of learning clinical psychopharmacology during residency, in order to assist educators planning psychopharmacology curricula.

Methods

We describe how psychopharmacology teaching was structured in our program, dividing our experience into two phases, early residency (PGY-I and PGY-II) and late residency (PGY-III and PGY-IV). We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various teaching strategies, and make recommendations for improvement.

Results

Our educational needs differed substantially in early and late phases of training. We identified areas deserving additional focus, including dealing with special populations, practical treatment dilemmas systems issues and ethics. Learning to manage both patient-psychopharmacologist and mentor-trainee relationships was crucial to our growth as psychopharmacologists.

Conclusions

A developmental approach that takes into account residents’ skill levels and prior experiences is important in implementing psychopharmacology didactics, patient assignments and supervision. We recommend presentingprinciples of clinical psychopharmacology in practical, appropriately contextualized formats, and with gradually increasing complexity.

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References

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    Glick ID, Janowsky DS, Salzman C, et al: A proposal for a model psychopharmacology curriculum for psychiatric residents. Neuropsychopharmacology 1993; 8: 1–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Lathers CM, Smith CM: Development of innovative teaching materials: clinical pharmacology problem-solving (CPPS) units: comparison with patient-oriented problem-solving units and problem-based learning—a 10-year review. J Clin Pharmacol 2002; 42: 477–491PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Naranjo CA, Shulman RW, Ozdemir V: Development and evaluation of a clinical psychopharmacology educational curriculum. J Clin Pharmacol 1997; 37: 474–479PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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