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Residency Program: Didactics



Delaware Psychiatry Residency Program


Program Didactic Curriculum

In addition to receiving site-specific didactic lectures and case conferences at inpatient unit and outpatient clinic, residents have formal didactic lectures each week. Didactics are held from 9:00am - 4:30pm every Tuesday. Grand Rounds and lectures are held in the Springer Building on the Herman Holloway Campus. Didactics are scheduled on a two-year cycle to allow residents every opportunity for exposure to each topic.

Course Descriptions

  • Basic Diagnostic Interviewing illustrates how information, gathered from the patient interview, is used to develop rational differential diagnoses. Ways to develop skills in taking the history of a patient and conducting the mental status examination are discussed.
  • Introduction to the Diagnosis to the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders/ Classification in Psychiatry develops DSM-IV-TR formulation skills from data elicited during the interview. Developing brief diagnostic skills and case presentation skills of diagnostic data gathered from the interview are examined.
  • Psychological Testing reviews methods of assessment including a review of intellectual, neuropsychological, objective and productive personality, and objective self-reporting. The application of methods through case presentations and interpreting the testing of the patient with significance of findings from the assessment are emphasized.
  • Evidence Based Psychiatry discusses the differences between evidence based psychiatry, promising practices, common practices and harmful practices. An introduction to evidence based research programs such as medication algorithms is included.
  • Neuropsychiatry covers key aspects of the basic bedside Neuropsychiatric examination including the Mental Status Exam, the neurological exam, the use of the Glasgow Coma Scale, the Mini Mental Status Exam, and the Confusion Assessment Method. Diagnosing and differentiating among delirium, dementia, depression and other psychiatric illnesses is discussed. A comprehensive study of the neurological foundations of human behavior from the molecular to the cellular and systems levels is examined.
  • Introduction to Basic Psychotherapy presents concepts such as transference, working alliance, regression, internal conflict, internalized object relationships, self-objects, rapport, interpretation, support, boundaries and countertransference.
  • Clinical Psychopharmacology reviews the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles specifically related to psychiatric medications and the importance of these principles when developing pharmacological treatment plans for patients. The main therapeutic actions and indications for each major class of psychotropics is studied.
  • Residents' Support Group meets regularly and on an as needed basis with a psychiatrist. The group is designed to address the needs of the residents in an environment that is supportive without the restrictions of evaluation.
  • Ethics in Psychiatry seeks to acquaint the resident with the variety of ethical dilemmas faced in the practice of psychiatry and to develop strategies to resolve dilemmas in daily practice. Discussions on a variety of principles such as malfeasance, paternalism, involuntary treatment, exploitation of doctor-patient relationship and confidentiality are included.
  • Community Psychiatry explores the history of the community psychiatry model. The resident is exposed to basic concepts related to dealing with persons with severe and persistent mental illness in the community. The course also explores working with multidisciplinary teams, families, psychosocial rehabilitation, and dual diagnosis.
  • Diagnostic Interviewing and Treatment Plan addresses clinical cases with special attention paid to differential diagnosis, management issues, and prognosis. The instructional format offers residents an opportunity to present and discuss cases with challenging diagnostic, treatment, and response issues.
  • Biopsychosocial Patient Presentation and Formulation provides regular review of the type of inquiry residents will have when they sit for board exams, participate in team meetings, present at case conferences, and interact with other specialists.
  • Review of Psychiatric Disorders seeks to develop an understanding and appreciation of basic treatment approaches and the evolving nature of major mental illnesses.
  • Emergency Psychiatry explores the nature and purpose of the emergency psychiatry evaluation and introduces the uses of pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy in the acute setting.
  • Geriatric Psychiatry reviews disorders prevalent in mature adults and how to diagnose and treat these disorders including dementias, organic brain syndromes, mood disorders and psychoses.
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry/Normal Development Tasks Through the Life Cycle provides an overview of child psychiatry topics in the areas of development, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology and seeks to identify the key developmental stages throughout the life cycle.
  • Cultural Psychiatry discusses cultural issues and the effect it has in the practice of psychiatry. Time is spent looking at a variety of American subcultures including the African American and Orthodox Jewish populations, gay and lesbian issues, women's issues and immigrant issues.
  • Journal Article Presentation/Journal Review discusses techniques to conduct critical reviews of journal articles and other scientific presentations and evaluate the significance of findings and results. Presenting journal articles and interpreting scientific information accurately is taught in a manner that enhances participant skills in critical reading and succinct oral presentation.
  • Psychiatry Grand Rounds maximizes the didactic experience for residents and helps them to evaluate the material presented critically and raise relevant issues with the presenter. Resident participation on a grand round planning committee is expected.
  • CNL/Correlation Between Medical Disorders and Psychiatric Disorders discusses the use of psychotropic agents in medical/surgical patients, including the physiologic effects, contraindications, drug interactions, and dosing concerns.
  • Addiction Psychiatry teaches ways that physicians can intervene effectively with persons who abuse substances and understand ways to engage this population such as motivational interviewing and recovery strategies.
  • Aggression Management helps the resident to competently assess the patient for the potential of violence and aggression and how to use appropriate and effective psychopharmacological agents in the management in violence and aggression.
  • Advanced Review of Psychiatric Disorders addresses the major categories of psychiatric disorders outlined in the DSM-IV-TR from the perspective of epidemiology, differential diagnosis, associated conditions and treatment approaches.
  • Advanced Psychopharmacology provides more in-depth instruction on specific properties of a range of medications from the various drug classes, as well as how to appropriately use them in treating patients.
  • Neurology for Psychiatrists helps the resident become thoroughly familiar with the neurologic exam and will thoroughly review higher cortical functions, subcortical systems, motor systems, cerebrellar brain stem function and extra-pyramidal movement disorder.
  • Advanced Addiction Psychiatry reviews the effectiveness of addictions programs and treatment and the co-morbidity of substance abuse and disorders typical to outpatient settings.
  • Managed Care in Psychiatry reviews the basic supply and demand dynamics of the medical care marketplace with a specific reference to psychiatry.
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy introduces residents to concepts such as transference, working alliances, regression, internal conflict, internalized object relationships, self-objects, rapport, interpretation, support, boundaries, and counter-transference. Principles of psychodynamic psychotherapy and the technical considerations of therapy for the major DSMIV-TR categories of psychopathology are presented and critiqued in their usage in actual cases.


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