Didactics: PGY-1

Course Director
Ronald O. Rieder, MD

The core PGY-1 didactic course meets for two hours weekly throughout the year. So that we create a sense of continuity and coherence for the first-year residents whose time often spreads across different services, we have arranged for them to attend these sessions even when they are assigned to rotations on internal medicine, pediatrics, and neurology (but not during their month in emergency medicine), as well as when on psychiatry rotations.

The overall aims of the course are:

  • To provide the knowledge and clinical skills that are useful for the types of psychiatric care that residents are providing on the inpatient services
  • To provide an opportunity for residents to reflect on their PGY-1 experience and the challenges of being a physician with primary responsibility for extremely ill patients being treated in a busy academic urban hospital

The necessary knowledge base relates to the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of major Axis 1 and Axis 2 disorders, as well as major comorbidities, including substance abuse and medical problems. Interviewing is a primary focus, and faculty members formally trained in the teaching and examination of interviewing techniques lead practicum sessions throughout the year in which each resident interviews a patient while being observed by her/his peers. Additionally, the curriculum includes multiple lectures on psychopharmacology, differential diagnosis, supportive psychotherapy, the management of drug withdrawal, cognitive evaluations, neuropsychiatry, and neuroscience. PGY-4 residents doing the Teaching Resident rotation are responsible for some of the lectures, in addition to those given by faculty.

The elements of the course that go beyond the usual didactic offerings are the PGY-1 Group Dynamics class and discussions related to the other core competencies. Led by Marlin Potash, EdD, Group Dynamics meets every other week and gives residents an opportunity to observe and discuss the various "groups" and roles in which the residents find themselves, including the "resident group" itself. It is unusual for residents to have this structured reflective opportunity in their first year of training, but we feel it beneficial for class cohesion, and professional and interpersonal development. Interspersed over the year are specific sessions devoted to communication, professionalism, leadership, and the practice of evidence based psychiatry.


Contact Us

Tel: 212-659-8734

Icahn School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry
Box 1230
One Gustave L. Levy Place
New York, NY 10029