Guidelines, algorithms, and evidence-based psychopharmacology training for psychiatric residents

Osser DN, Patterson RD, Levitt JJ

Acad Psychiatry 2005 May-Jun;29(2):180-6

PMID: 15937265


OBJECTIVE: The authors describe a course of instruction for psychiatry residents that attempts to provide the cognitive and informational tools necessary to make scientifically grounded decision making a routine part of clinical practice.

METHODS: In weekly meetings over two academic years, the course covers the psychopharmacology of various psychiatric disorders in 32 3-hour modules. The first half of each module is a case conference, and the second is a literature review of papers related to the case. The case conference focuses on the extent to which past treatment has been consistent with evidence-supported guidelines and algorithms, and the discussants make recommendations that take the relevant scientific evidence into consideration. The second half of each module focuses on two papers: 1) a published guideline, algorithm, or review article and 2) a research study.

RESULTS: Residents absorb a comprehensive overview of recommended clinical practices and acquire skills in assessing knowledge that affects decision making. Satisfaction with the course is rated highly.

CONCLUSION: The course appears useful by its face validity, but research comparing the attitudes and practice outcomes of graduates of this course compared with recipients of other training methods is needed.