We have listed here a sampling of courses from our curriculum. Most of the courses will be conducted in a seminar format, with liberal use of multimedia, and opportunity for individualized learning.

R-1 curriculum

Departmental Grand Rounds

Invited speakers through North Shore-LIJ; chaired by J. Kane, M.D.

Formal presentations of recent research, or scholarly reviews of important issues affecting clinical practice and/or our understanding of the nature of mind and brain in health and illness. Most speakers are nationally and internationally recognized experts in their field of study. Grand Rounds are viewed through teleconferencing capability and occur at the hospital's North campus, which will also be the location for residents' educational activities on Wednesdays.

Weekly, each Wednesday, except summer and holidays

Journal Club

Weekly review and critical discussion of journal articles of note. Articles will be disseminated in advance of the meeting, and faculty and residents will be assigned to lead the discussion. Articles will most often be from the current literature, though articles of historical interest may be included as well. Emphasis will be placed on importance and relevance of content; teaching skills necessary for critical reading, such as assessment of methodology, statistical analysis, and strength of findings; and questions or future directions suggested by the article's content. Residents will be required to fill out a form in advance of the meeting, in which they convey their assessment of the article with respect to these several measures. Their assessments will be reviewed with the faculty at the Journal Club and used to assist the residents in developing lifelong learning skills.

Weekly, on Tuesdays

Research Seminar

Weekly seminar with Dr. Russell Joffe, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, which will begin each academic year with an introduction for residents. Attendance in the R-1 and R-2 years is encouraged, though no formal expectation of research practice is required until the R-3 year. The seminar will set forth the expectations for research to be conducted in the R-3 and R-4 year - though research can be initiated at an earlier point in the residency. Dr. Joffe, an internationally recognized and accomplished researcher, will guide residents in choosing topics with which they can work effectively, with the goal of producing a publishable article or study by the end of their residency. Residents will be made aware of research in progress or planned at SIUH, as well as at North Shore-LIJ, including research activities at Zucker Hillside Hospital and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, which are part of Northwell Health. Residents will also present their research projects as they are in development, and through each stage of the research activity. In addition, residents will be assigned a mentor for their research project, who will assist them individually, and who will attend the research seminar when indicated.

Weekly, Friday mornings

Literature, Narrative, and the Self

Following the format and general outline of Robert Coles' successful seminar  series at Harvard Medical School - described in his book, Handing One Another  Along - we will read narratives, both literary and autobiographical, in order to explore the varieties of human experience, including but not limited to the 

experience of mental and physical illness. A selection of other readings, in psychology, the natural sciences and philosophy, and related fields, will also be provided. The goals of the course will be to understand the importance of narrative and its utility in the practice of psychiatry, as well as medicine, generally; to  increase empathy; and to generate discussion of cultural, psychological and ontological issues that may arise in the course of our practice as physicians. A selection of films will also be assigned for viewing at home, and then be  discussed in class. A summer reading and viewing list and writing project will be  assigned and presented in the seminar in the autumn when classes resume. 

Residents on rotations at off-sites will be able to participate in discussions  through teleconferencing.

1 night, Monday, Monthly

Residency Administrative Meeting

Informal discussion group and seminar that will provide residents with an opportunity to discuss/review their current learning, to receive additional assistance or instruction where necessary; to direct residents to current, important literature or news affecting the field; to review performance on exams (PRITE, etc.); to provide feedback on their individual and group educational experience and identify gaps, or areas that require attention within the curriculum and/or supervision schedules; and to practice and review Board Exam-type questions and clinical vignettes. Residents will periodically be provided with exam or assignment materials that they will be expected to prepare before the course, so that answers may be reviewed there, and learning opportunities maximized. 

Bi-weekly, on Thursdays, over lunch

Crash Course in Psychopharmacology

Structured using the outline of the ASCP (American Society of Clinical Psychopharmacology) Model Psychopharmacology Curriculum (6th Edition), and utilizing educational materials provided by ASCP, which have been updated and supplemented where necessary. PGY-1 residents will be provided with a basic knowledge of psychopharmacology to guide them as they begin their clinical work.

Weekly, 8 sessions

Orientation to Neurobiology

Introduction to critical concepts in Neurobiology: interaction between the brain and other body systems, including the gut and the immune system; homeostatic mechanisms in the brain and their relation to illness states; introduction to cellular physiology, neurotransmitter and receptor interactions; gene regulation; oxidative metabolism and its relationship to illness states. The course will make liberal use of audiovisual materials to augment learning. Presented by Dr. Russell Joffe.

Weekly during Psychiatry Rotation in R-1 year

Anthropology, Philosophy, and Sociology in Psychiatry

Introduction to the importance of understanding other perspectives on symptoms, illness, and healing, informed by other disciplines. Topics will include the influence of race, ethnicity, and cultural background on illness presentation and treatment; philosophical views on the nature of the illness experience, communication, and subjectivity; and the complex way in which language influences the process of assessment and treatment.

Weekly during Psychiatry Rotation in R-1 year

The Clinical Interview

Intensive training in conducting an effective psychiatric interview. The course will necessarily encompass an introduction to Nosology, but also address: the relationship of diagnostic assessment to the clinical interview and mental status exam; how to establish a treatment alliance; ethics, boundaries and cultural sensitivities of which to be mindful in the conduct of an interview. As we examine the structure of the clinical interview over the course of treatment, we will discuss integrating clinical scales and measures such as sleep diaries and activity schedules; assessing progress in treatment; and examining different session structures tailored to the task, and the treatment contract/understanding.

R-2 curriculum

Courses in concert with R-1, R-3, and R-4 residents:

  • Departmental Grand Rounds
  • Journal Club
  • Research Seminar
  • Literature, Narrative, and the Self
  • Residency Administrative Meeting

Other courses:

Syndromes and Disorders in Psychiatry

A series of courses which will examine the major syndromes in psychiatric practice, reviewing the etiology, nosology, principles of assessment and treatment, and current research related to these conditions. We will also discuss patient-centered perspectives on diagnosis and treatment, as well as principles of recovery models as they relate to the syndrome being discussed. Residents should acquire expertise in understanding and managing conditions covered by this course. The course will make use of videos as well as live interviews. Topics will include Mood Disorders presented by Dr. Joffe; Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders presented by Dr. Sullivan; Child and Adolescent Disorders; Anxiety Disorders; Personality Disorders; Addiction Psychiatry; and more throughout the academic year.

Basics of Neurobiology

Introduction to the basic knowledge necessary for understanding brain functioning, in illness and in health, as well as the actions of therapeutic agents, and treatments generally. We will review the gross anatomy of the brain; the brain's organization and the neural networks, in particular, that underlie mood regulation and cognitive processes relevant to psychiatry; cellular physiology; the neurobiology of affect; learning, the mechanisms underlying long-term potentiation (LTP) and neural plasticity, and the role of mirror neurons; and principles of genomics.  

Psychological Theories of Behavior

This course will present the major psychological schools, and areas of inquiry, that represent the scientific effort to understand the mind. Behaviorism, from Pavlov, Thorndike, and Watson, to Skinner, and post-Skinnerians, as well as more recent developments, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy theory and practice; the Cognitive Sciences; the contributions of Learning Theory; and exciting new areas of inquiry such as Perceptual Control Theory. We will examine the insights of these theories as they relate to our understanding of the mind, and to the practice of psychiatry. 

The Psychotherapies

The major schools of psychotherapy will be presented, including the history of their development, their fundamental principles and underlying theories and the essentials of their practice, with attention to what distinguishes each school from the other. Research on effectiveness and outcomes will be reviewed. We will discuss the psychoanalytic schools; group and family therapies; the cognitive therapies; the "Third Wave" cognitive therapies; and others.

Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Medicine in Psychiatry

We will read, review and discuss the work of contributors both within and outside the discipline of psychiatry who examine the influences of human social structures and behaviors, evolutionary forces, and the evolution of our own cognitive frameworks on the way we think about the mind and mental illness. The writings of Arthur Kleinman, Allan Young, Roy Porter, Byron Good, Michel Foucault, and others will be discussed. We will explore the practice of psychiatry in other cultures; the role of race and culture in society in the USA and New York in particular; the ways in which cultural assumptions influence the interpretation of illness; and the challenge and role of dissenting views. 

Professionalism and Ethics

Residents will study and discuss scholarly work, and professional guidelines, which address the doctor-patient Relationship, proper boundaries and boundary violations including social and/or sexual contact with patients. Ethics in Medicine and Psychiatry will also be addressed with respect to such topics as patient's rights, confidentiality, professional behavior and competency. Case studies will be presented to facilitate discussion and learning.

R-3 curriculum

Courses in concert with R-1, R-2, and R-4 residents:

  • Departmental Grand Rounds
  • Journal Club
  • Research Seminar
  • Literature, Narrative, and the Self
  • Residency Administrative Meeting

Other courses:

Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Critical Appraisal

Overview of research methodology and study design. Formulating an answerable question, searching for the best evidence to answer the question(s), critical appraisal of the literature regardless of whether the issue is etiology, diagnosis, treatment or outcome and prognosis and application of the appropriate evidence to individuals' care.

Advanced Psychopharmacology

The course will follow the structure of the ASCP Model Psychopharmacology Curriculum (6th Edition), and utilizing educational materials provided by ASCP, which have been updated and supplemented where necessary. Topics will include pharmacological management of Anxiety Disorder Syndromes, PTSD, OCD, Eating Disorders, Personality Disorders, Psychopharmacology of Sexual Dysfunction, Cross-Cultural Psychopharmacology, Mental Retardation, Child and Adolescent Disorders, and many others. Case studies will be utilized.

Molecular Psychiatry and Genomics II

This course will examine current pre-clinical and clinical research elucidating mechanisms underlying mental illness, dysfunction, and human behavior. Residents will be helped to understand the basic principles, concepts, and vocabulary necessary to read this burgeoning literature, including the developing field of genomics. In order to both broaden and deepen understanding, we will invite speakers who are conducting research in this area, including scientists in our healthcare system (NSLIJ), at Zucker Hillside Hospital. We will also organize at least two field trips to visit sites where research is being conducted. 

Developing Assessment Skills

In this seminar series, residents will be helped to perfect their skills in performing assessments and in drafting clinical summaries for purposes of case conferences, referral for consultation, or publication, as well as learning to concisely and effectively record pertinent history to enter into the clinical record. Residents will be expected to prepare write-ups  (formal history and formulation), related to patients they see in their clinical rotations and bring them to class to discuss and receive critical feedback from faculty. Patients will, at intervals, be interviewed in front of the class, so that residents can record their impressions, complete a draft psychiatric history and mental status exam, and bring their work to present, contrast and review with other participants. Specific training will be provided in the use of clinical tools (HAM-D, YMRS, BSDS, Beck Anxiety, YBOCS, BPRS, PANSS, QLES-Q, AIMS and others) and how to integrate them in the assessment process.

Psychological Testing and Assessment

This course will increase the participants' understanding of the role of the psychologist in the interdisciplinary team. The range of psychological and neuropsychological testing will be presented, together with indications for referring patients for this testing, and guidance in interpreting the psychologist's findings. The use of psychological testing in research will also be reviewed, together with an introduction to the methods of statistical analysis commonly used in psychiatric an social science research.

Psychotherapy - Advanced Topics

We will utilize case presentations, as well as live interviews, to deepen residents' understanding of specific psychotherapies, with emphasis on supportive, psychodynamically-informed, and cognitive therapies. Residents will be taught how to create records of therapy sessions for use in supervision and exposed to scales used to measure competency in the practice of psychotherapy, as well as fidelity to given models.

Community Psychiatry

This seminar will provide an opportunity for residents to become familiar with community services on Staten Island, and to be involved first-hand in observing and contributing to such activities by participation in board-level functions. Residents will be assigned a mentor who will assist them in identifying a community agency with which to become engaged, and then to approach the agency and determine a means for the resident to learn about the entity's administrative functions and operations. Residents will be required to develop a systems-based "change project," which they will identify with the help of staff at the agency with whom they have chosen to work. Residents will report on their experiences, and on their progress toward completing their "change project", in subsequent seminars, and receive feedback from peers and faculty. 

Gender, Sexuality, and Sexual Psychopathology

In this course, we will survey issues related to sexuality, sexual identity, and sexual behavior in illness and in health. In addition to didactic presentations, we will invite spokespersons from communities of interest, such as the LGBT community, to speak about their experiences and concerns, as well as clinicians who work in specialized programs addressing the needs of these individuals, including the LGBT clinic where residents may elect a rotation in their PGY-4 year. 

The course will address the range of sexual roles in healthy sexual relationships; the importance of therapists' awareness of their own sexuality and biases; issues relevant to the LGBT and related communities; the role of sexuality in persons suffering from depression and other mental illnesses, and how to address these issues in treatment; sexual psychopathology, its phenomenology and evidence-based treatments; and the importance of identifying attitudes toward gender and sexuality in psychiatric/psychological theory, practice and research.

Advanced Course in Child &Adolescent Psychiatry/Psychopharmacology

This course will build on the foundations of normal observed Child development to diagnosis and treatment of Childhood disorders with a focus on Integration of Psychopharmacological as well as psychotherapy techniques relevant to the Outpatient treatment setting. The residents will develop a detailed understanding of major childhood disorders and treatments and treatment guidelines .This course will promote an evidence-based curriculum including DSM-based diagnosis and evidence-based medicine with a background of clinical observations. These will include case discussions as well as a review of the relevant and current literature as necessary. The resident should gain an adequate level of comfort in assessing, treating and developing collaboration with other care providers.

Clinical Case Conference in Child Psychiatry

The clinical case conference will be a monthly discussion of a case identified by the resident that will be presented formally and discussed with the faculty as well as the residents. The goal of the presentation is three fold: a)The resident will learn to obtain and present a detailed yet concise history to other professionals) Allow feedback on narrative as well as diagnostic and treatment-related dilemmas faced by the patient and clinician c) Foster a learning environment by case discussion as well as literature review to help understand unique situations that pose a challenge to outpatient psychiatry practices especially in the realm of child psychiatry.

R-4 Curriculum

Courses in concert with R-1, R-2, and R-3 residents:

  • Departmental Grand Rounds
  • Journal Club
  • Research Seminar
  • Literature, Narrative, and the Self
  • Residency Administrative Meeting

Courses with the PGY3 residents:

Psychotherapy - Advanced Topics

We will utilize case presentations, as well as live interviews, to deepen residents' understanding of specific psychotherapies, with emphasis on supportive, psychodynamically-informed, and cognitive therapies. Residents will be taught how to create records of therapy sessions for use in supervision and exposed to scales used to measure competency in the practice of psychotherapy, as well as fidelity to given models.

Psychotherapy Seminars in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Each class will participate in two (separate) monthly seminars on these topics; the CBT Seminar will include both classes. Each is supervised by an expert in their respective practice modality.

Other courses:

Training to be a Teacher 

Residents will be helped to acquire skills and confidence that will allow them to become effective teachers. We will make use of institutional resources designed to help faculty improve their teaching skills. We will also present material related to learning theory, including adult learning styles and needs. Residents will be helped to prepare classes that they will present to different groups in different settings: classes for PGY-1 residents and visiting medical students that are part of the regular curriculum; classes for professional staff at the institution that are part of the Department's ongoing continuing education programs; and classes to consumer and community groups on requested topics. Emphasis will be placed on using different teaching modalities, tailored to the audience and setting. Residents will research topics and prepare lesson plans, and present lessons in class to receive critical feedback from faculty, before the actual class. Residents should expect to teach at least one class monthly.

Scientific Reading Seminar

Residents will be guided in pursuing an advanced independent study of selected topics. Residents will be expected to lead seminar discussions on the works they have read, in which seminar participants will relate the topic of discussion to the works they are reviewing. Emphasis will be placed on works related to translational research (e.g.,Translational Neuroscience: Applications in Neurology, Psychiatry, and Neurodevelopmental Disorders); studies in the cognitive sciences (e.g., The Invisible GorillaPerceptual Control Theory: Science and Applications - A Book of Readings; Consciousness Explained; Mirroring People: The Science of Empathy and How We Connect With Others); the history of psychiatry including critiques and perspectives from within the social sciences (e.g., History of Psychiatry and Medical Psychology: With an Epilogue on Psychiatry and the Mind-Body RelationFlesh in the Age of Reason: The Modern Foundations of Body and SoulMadness: A Brief History); related disciplines, such as anthropology, especially those presenting insights gleaned from recent research (e.g., Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are); and different schools of psychotherapy and psychological theory (e.g., Mindfulness and Acceptance: Expanding the Cognitive-Behavioral TraditionWhen Theories Touch: A Historical and Theoretical Integration of Psychoanalytic ThoughtJung contra Freud: The 1912 New York Lectures on the Theory of Psychoanalysis). Residents will also be expected use this seminar to prepare a scholarly discussion paper in a publishable form on one of the subject areas they study over the course of the year. 

Psychopharmacology Consult Service - Case Presentation

Residents will present challenging psychopharmacology cases from the Consultation Service or from the Outpatient Department. Residents will be expected to review the case, perform an independent examination and write up their findings, including a literature review. Cases will be presented to senior consultants and a treatment plan recommended. Follow-up presentations will also be scheduled to  examine the outcomes of recommended interventions.

Psychiatry Board Review

In this weekly review we will read and discuss Kaplan and Saddock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry and as well utilize online question banks (including TruLearn and others) in order to prepare residents for their Board Exams, as well as to be certain that residents feel comfortably informed about psychiatric science and practice as they prepare to leave residency.

In addition, the residents will attend the Kaufman Review Course in July of their PGY4 year, in preparation for the Neurology portion of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Examination. A review of Kaufman’s text will be also offered toward the end of the PGY4 year.