Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 245–248 | Cite as

Teaching Psychosomatic Medicine Using Problem-Based Learning and Role-Playing

Brief Reports



Problem-based learning (PBL) has been implemented in medical education world-wide. Despite its popularity, it has not been generally considered useful for residency programs. The author presents a model for the implementation of PBL in residency programs.


The author presents a description of a PBL curriculum for teaching psychosomatic medicine to PGY 2 members in a psychiatry training program. The goals of PBL are to encourage self-directed learning; enhance curiosity, using case-based, con-textualized learning; promote collaborative practice; and support patient-centered care. The addition of role-playingexercises helps PGY 2 residents to develop their skills from simply developing a differential diagnosis to being able to construct biopsychosocial formulations, and it provides these residents an opportunity to practice presenting case formulations to the patient and family.


Residents and faculty enjoyed the PBL role-playing sessions. Residents wanted the learning objectives given to them rather than generating their own learning objectives, to move through the cases faster, and to receive more information and more cases.


Teaching psychosomatic medicine, using PBL and role-playing, allows many of the proposed Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine residency core competencies to be met. However, further refinement of the PBL method needs to take place in order to adapt its use to residency programs.


Learning Objective Residency Program Academic Psychiatry Psychosomatic Medicine Vocal Cord Dysfunction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Colliver JA: Effectiveness of problem-based learning curricula: research and theory. Acad Med 2000; 75:259–266CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Norman GR, Schmidt HG: The psychological basis of problem-based learning: a review of the evidence. Acad Med 1992; 67:557–565CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schmidt HG, van der Molen HT: Self-reported competency ratings of graduates of a problem-based medical curriculum. Acad Med 2001; 76:466–468CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Coderre S, Mandin H, Harasym PH, et al: Diagnostic reasoning strategies and diagnostic success. Med Educ 2003; 37:675–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lissak M: Biopsychosocial psychiatry Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160:185–186CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    McClain T, O’Sullivan PS, Clardy JA: Biopsychosocial formulation: recognizing educational shortcomings. Acad Psychiatry 2004; 28:88–94CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gabbard GO: How not to teach psychotherapy. Acad Psychiatry 2005; 29:332–338CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Perron NJ, Perneger T, Kolly V, et al: Use of a computer-based, simulated consultation tool to assess whether doctors explore sociocultural factors during patient evaluation. J Eval Clin Pract 2009; 15:190–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of PsychiatryUniversity of Colorado, DenverDenver

Personalised recommendations