Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 249–254

The Doctoring Curriculum at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine: Leadership and Participant Roles for Psychiatry Faculty

  • James A. Bourgeois
  • Hendry Ton
  • John Onate
  • Tracy McCarthy
  • Frazier T. Stevenson
  • Mark E. Servis
  • Michael S. Wilkes
Special Article



The authors describe in detail the 3-year model of the Doctoring curriculum plus an elective fourth-year Doctoring course at University of California, Davis School of Medicine (UCDSOM) and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine and the critical role for psychiatry faculty leadership and participation.


The authors present a review of curricular materials and course operations for the different Doctoring courses for first-, second-, third-, and fourth-year curriculum. The authors describe the role of psychiatry faculty in both leadership and in group facilitation.


The Doctoring curriculum offers case-based, small-group learning that relies heavily on standardized patients to teach core content around doctor-patient communication, ethics behavioral medicine and counseling approaches. There are frequent psychosocial issues woven in to these encounters. Psychiatry faculty members and other mental health professionals are well-prepared by virtue of their training to lead small group discussions and facilitate the supportive elements of the small groups in medical education.


The Doctoring curriculum is both a biopsychosocial educational endeavor and a high-visibility leadership opportunity for the Department of Psychiatry. Other medical schools and departments of psychiatry may wish to pursue similar roles in their didactic programs.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Wilkes MS, Slavin SJ, Usatine R: Doctoring: a longitudinal generalist curriculum. Acad Med 1994; 69: 191–193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fortin AH, Haeseler FD, Angoff N, et al: Teaching pre-clinical medical students an integrated approach to medical interviewing: half-day workshops using actors. J Gen Intern Med 2002; 17: 704–708PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Johnson AH, Nease DE, Milberg LC, et al: Essential characteristics of effective Balint group leadership. Fam Med 2004; 36: 253–259PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Slavin SJ, Wilkes MS, Usatine RP: Faculty perceptions while teaching in doctoring. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract 1997; 2: 9–16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rubin EH, Zorumski CF: Psychiatric education in an era of rapidly occuring scientific advances. Acad Med 2003; 78: 351–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alpert JE, Schlozman S, Badaracco MA, et al: Getting our own house in order: improving psychiatry education to medical students as a prelude to medical school educational reform. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30: 170–173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Meyer RE: The tripartite model of an academic psychiatry department and the roles of the chair. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30: 292–297PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Epstein RM: Assessment in medical education. New Engl J Med 2007; 356: 387–396PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Krahn LE, Bostwick JM, Sutor B, et al: The challenge of empathy: a pilot study of the use of standardized patients to teach introductory psychopathology to medical students. Acad Psychiatry 2002; 26: 26–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lewis JM: On the use of standardized patients. Acad Psychiatry 2002; 26: 193–196PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Birndorf CA, Kaye ME: Teaching the mental status examination to medical students by using a standardized patient in a large group setting. Acad Psychiatry 2002; 26: 180–183PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    McLay RN, Rodenhauser P, Anderson DS, et al: Simulating a full-length psychiatric interview with a complex patient: an OSCE for medical students. Acad Psychiatry 2002; 26: 162–167PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hodges B, Hanson M, McNaughton N, et al: Creating, monitoring, and improving psychiatry OSCE: a guide for faculty. Acad Psychiatry 2002; 26: 134–161PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Halperin PJ: Psychiatry in medicine: five years of experience with an innovative required fourth-year medical school course. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30: 120–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Thornhill JT, Tong L: From Yoda to Sackett: the future of psychiatry medical student education. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30: 23–28PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mack K: Innovations in the teaching of behavioral sciences in the preclinical curriculum. Acad Psychiatry 2005; 29: 471–473PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lu FG, Primm A: Mental health disparities, diversity, and cultural competence in medical education: how psychiatry can play a role. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30: 9–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cutler JL, Alspector SL, Harding KJ, et al: Medical students’ perceptions of psychiatry as a career choice. Acad Psychiatry 2006; 30: 144–149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sierles FS, Dinwiddie SH, Patroi D, et al: Factors affecting medical student career choice of psychiatry form 1999 to 2001. Acad Psychiatry 2003; 27: 260–268PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Sierles FS, Yager J, Weissman SH: Recruitment of U.S. medical students into psychiatry: reasons for optimism, sources of concern. Acad Psychiatry 2003; 27: 252–259PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Association of American Medical Colleges: AAMC Data Warehouse Applicant Matriculant File and SRS Tables as of November 9, 2006. Available at

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Bourgeois
    • 1
  • Hendry Ton
    • 1
  • John Onate
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tracy McCarthy
    • 1
  • Frazier T. Stevenson
    • 2
  • Mark E. Servis
    • 1
  • Michael S. Wilkes
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of California, Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of California, Davis Medical CenterSacramentoUSA

Personalised recommendations