TypeOnline Course
Student Enrolled137

Contributing Author: David Ross, MD, PhD, Melissa Arbuckle, MD, PhD and Michael Travis, MD

Date Uploaded onto Website: March 2, 2016

Overview: We believe that engaging with diverse – and at times skeptical – stakeholders is a critical component of neuroscience literacy and a core professional skill. The following module is intended to focus on this unique form of professional communication. We begin with a small group exercise in which participants review a series of vignettes that each reflect a potential challenge of communicating with colleagues about the role of neuroscience in psychiatry. While the vignettes are deliberately exaggerated, each captures the essence of an encounter that left one of us feeling stirred up and upset. For this reason, as we were developing the module, we used the working title: “Taking care of the hateful clinician” (modeled after the seminal 1978 Groves paper, “Taking care of the hateful patient” (, and, of course, connecting to the literature around “Hate in the Countertransference”). The core idea of this literature is that there are certain situations that will instill negative feelings in us as providers. If we’re not aware of them, we may tend to enact our negative feelings in a counterproductive manner. We know that this phenomenon is common – and may contribute to why psychiatric patients may receive worse care than other patients on a medical service.

This session is designed to allow us to explore the challenges we face as ambassadors of neuroscience and to brainstorm constructive approaches for dealing with these situations. We imagine that this exercise may be more appropriate for senior residents or as a faculty development exercise.

Author Affiliations: Dr. David Ross is from the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University. Dr. Melissa Arbuckle is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychaitry and Co-Director of Residency Training in Psychiatry at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Dr. Michael Travis is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Residency Training in the Department of Psychiatry at Pittsburgh University and the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. The National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative is a collaborative effort with the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (AADPRT) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning and receives grant support from the NIH (R25 MH101076 02S1 and R25 MH086466 07S1) ©National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative.

Section 1
Section 2Learning Objectives
Section 3Resources Required
Section 4Session Outline