PGY-2 residents are excused from clinical responsibilities for 7 hours each Wednesday for classroom activities. Topics are divided thematically into the following areas: Clinical Supervision; Phenomenology, Neuroscience, & Psychopharmacology; Psychotherapy; Social & Psychiatry Services; and Process Group.
Each week begins with a Group Clinical Supervision led by the training directors.
The year-long Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and Psychopharmacology course is divided into illness-specific modules. Residents learn the meticulous understanding of and ability to describe symptoms of mental illness, including the multiple ways of conceptualizing patients’ presentations, from both subjective and objective frames of reference. With our goal to provide a translational means for residents to understand and talk to their patients as well as a literacy in approaching new research findings, we teach the underlying neuroscience of the various symptoms and syndromes, including intermediate phenotypes and a much more in-depth look at emotion, cognition, learning, and behavior, from socially observable phenomena down to genetics and epigenetics. Relevant psychopharmacology for each area is included in the module. Each module ends with a presentation by a faculty expert about the relevant state of the art research being conducted at Mount Sinai.
A primary goal of our psychotherapy curriculum is to foster knowledge and skills in the established and emerging evidence-based treatments, highlighting techniques, theories, efficacy, and application. Early on, residents are taught how to attend to patients’ moment-to-moment emotions, cognitions, and behaviors, how these may be acknowledged and therapeutically addressed, and how to begin to incorporate core supportive psychotherapy techniques into daily practice, regardless of therapeutic orientation. Questions such as, What is the patient trying to tell me? and What do I say next?͟as well as the How, When, and Why of it—form the conceptual and pragmatic scaffolding on which this series is built. Following this pragmatic and practice-heavy introductory series, residents attend a 6-month weekly series on various Models of the Mind, with theory-based components followed by learning techniques fundamental to specific psychotherapy practices. The technique component often includes learning from the process of the instructor’s actual ongoing treatment of patients.
In Social & Psychiatry Services, residents learn about the practice of psychiatry in systems, including the principles of publicly-funded mental health services, emergency psychiatry, consultation-liaison psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry, including attending mock trial.
Process Group offers PGY-2, 3, and 4 residents a unique experience in which residents come to learn about themselves and their peers and to process and examine their experiences in real time. Process Group is an in vivo training in how groups function and the effects of an individual within and upon the group. (As a resident, you work not only in tight-knit groups with your peers but also in larger groups within the medical system, where issues of leadership, professionalism, communication, responsibility, and individuality are ever-present.) In Process Group, residents are invited to share their thoughts, feelings, etc. and simultaneously be part of and observe a group experience, fostering growth and development. While not explicitly therapy, Process Group also fosters crucial self-reflection/assessment, resident cohesion, and an opportunity to discuss, in a confidential and supportive environment, the pressing emotional, social, and interpersonal issues involved in being a resident in psychiatry. The process which unfolds from week to week often helps with the pressures and stresses of residency. A fundamental agreement between members of the group and the leader(s) is that all said within the group is confidential. Each PGY class has its own weekly group, with leaders who remain the same through all 3 years. The leaders are chosen from experienced members of the voluntary faculty who have no supervisory or evaluative functions in the residency.
Explore a sample PGY-2 didactic schedule.