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Core Curriculum


There are several didactic courses taught throughout the residency that comprise the fundamental core curriculum. These are described below:    

Addiction Psychiatry

This series of courses is designed to enhance resident knowledge and treatment skills of patients with substance-related disorders and the dually diagnosed patient. The continuum from acute intoxication and withdrawal to longitudinal approaches to management is presented. Attitudes toward individuals with addictions and comorbidities are also explored.

Business and finance in psychiatry

Residents participate in various didactic seminars on topics related to mental health care financing, systems’ and practice considerations, physician finances and other practical applications. 

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

This course emphasizes the basic concepts of dealing with children and families, including development, manifestations and treatment of common childhood mental disorders, and family issues and child abuse. Contrasts to adult psychiatric practice, interviewing techniques and history-taking are discussed.

community psychiatry

Residents are engaged in learning about multiple aspects of systems-based practice in community psychiatry, including organization, administrative, and clinical foundations of various entities critical for successful mental health care delivery. 

cultural psychiatry

Through various media sources, world events, and discussion of historical evolution and theory, residents learn about the significance of cultural, spiritual, ethnic, sexual orientation, and other variables and their relationships to modern psychiatry. Practical applications to patient care are discussed.   

Diagnostic Nomenclature: DSM-DSM-5

This class emphasizes the history and importance of classification of mental disorders.  Faculty discusses the development, strengths and limitations of DSM 5and its construction as an instrument to survey mental disorders. 

Emergency Psychiatry

This course is designed to provide the introductory resident with specific expertise necessary for the assessment and intervention of emergent psychiatric conditions, including suicidality, homicidality, mood disorders, psychosis, and substance related emergencies. Faculty also discuss emergency treatment of disorders of childhood and adolescence.

Essentials of Clinical Psychiatry

This course provides an introductory but comprehensive overview of current knowledge in clinical psychiatry. Residents will study the current edition of a major psychiatric text. Structured reading assignments and supplemental materials are discussed by the instructors. Self-assessment exercises are used to facilitate self-directed learning and stimulate class discussion. Epidemiology, etiologies, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of psychiatric conditions is covered in detail.


This course is conducted yearly and is intended to stimulate awareness and understanding of the ethical issues associated with psychiatry. The American Psychiatric Association code of ethics is discussed and many approaches to applying ethics are used, including didactic instruction, role play, and case-based discussion.  

Evidence Based Psychiatry/APA Practice Guidelines

This course is designed to provide an in-depth look at evidence-based medicine and offer strategies for searching relevant psychiatric evidence to answer a specific question. The theory and process of evidence-based psychiatry is discussed and understanding and utilizing data to forward and improve psychiatric decision-making is emphasized.

Forensic psychiatry

This course introduces various essential concepts of the subspeciality, including review of landmark cases, criminal and mental health law, and forensic reporting.

geriatric psychiatry

A geriatric psychiatrist provides the foundational knowledge about caring for the geriatric patient, including cultural, social, economic, clinical, and pharmacologic distinctions.

history of psychiatry

The historical foundations of psychiatry, its relationship to the evolution of medicine, and health care delivery throughout the ages are discussed. National and local influences on psychiatric health care are reviewed.

Interviewing: the basics

This class consists of discussions of the basic concepts of interviewing, including the role of patient and physician, participant observation, empathy and anxiety. The phases of an interview and how to use them in structuring an interview are presented. Practical techniques for attaining information from patients with varying degrees of cooperativeness are also discussed.

Interviewing: clinical applications

Faculty discuss advanced concepts of the comprehensive interview, including analysis of transference and countertransference, risk assessment, and psychodynamic formulation. During this class, residents conduct patient interviews and colleagues, including faculty, provide feedback about the interview process and content. Case formulation is applied in this class.

Longitudinal Core Competency Course: The Psychiatric Professional

The core competency course consists of a series of educational activities conducted at various intervals throughout the residency. These sessions place particular emphasis on developing and assessing the resident’s incremental mastery of the core competencies:  communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism, medical knowledge, patient care, practice-based learning, and systems-based learning. The activities include clinical interviewing skills, simulated professional examinations, and critiquing one’s own performance to stimulate self-directed learning. In addition, psychiatrists from the community are invited to discuss professionalism.


This comprehensive course covers basic concepts of clinical neurology and neurobiological science, emphasizing knowledge and skills relevant to clinical psychiatry. Students will study the current edition of Kaufman, Clinical Neurology for Psychiatrists. Class sessions consist of review of structured reading assignments and supplemental materials, and take-home practice quizzes, and brief presentations by instructors and participants.


Residents receive training from a clinical psychologist on the use, indications, and interpretation of various psychological testing instruments.

PRITE Seminar

This course reviews the content of the most recently administered Psychiatry Resident In Training Examination. This course promotes active discussion of critical learning points in psychiatry and residents gain an understanding of their own intellectual strengths and areas of needed improvement.


The psychopharmacology curriculum is integrated at all levels of postgraduate training with introductory, advanced, and controversial topics in current literature presented. A critical and evidence-based approach to psychopharmacological decision-making and biological and socioeconomic implications of treatment are emphasized.  

psychosomatic medicine

Introductory and advanced concepts in communication, patient care and systems-based practice as they relate to psychosomatic medicine and the consultant's role are presented.

psychotherapy curriculum

The psychotherapy curriculum is a longitudinal series of educational activities that occur throughout the residency, beginning in the first postgraduate year. The curriculum emphasizes theoretical and practical applications of major psychotherapeutic modalities.  Various formats are used including didactic instruction, clinical experiences, individual and group supervisory experiences, structured time with a psychotherapist and a cognitive behavioralist, simulated exercises, and recorded material. The psychotherapy program is designed for residents to achieve competency in brief therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, combined psychotherapy and psychopharmacology, psychodynamic therapy, and supportive therapy. Residents also gain proficiency in understanding family systems and couples therapy, with additional psychotherapy training opportunities available based on the resident’s personal interests.