Contributing Authors: Melissa Arbuckle, MD, PhD, and E. David Leonardo, MD, PhD
Overview: Columbia University’s psychiatry residency program is a large academic program in New York City. Our mission is to train residents to become outstanding clinicians, researchers, and teachers, who will find fulfillment in their work and make meaningful contributions to the field. Each class numbers twelve residents with a diverse set of backgrounds and interests, from research in neuroscience to psychodynamic psychotherapy and everything in between. We have a deep pool of neuroscience researchers and resources, both basic science and clinical science, that we tap into for our teaching.
The goals of our neuroscience curriculum are to ensure that residents are comfortable thinking about neuroscience and that they are able to recognize the relevance of neuroscience in the daily practice of psychiatry. We seek to give residents the building blocks to understand not only psychopharmacology but also the neuroscience of psychotherapy. We introduce residents to the major psychological constructs that underlie behavior, including the broad foundational constructs outlined by the RDoC, such as attention, motivation, and cognition, with the goal of conveying a sense of how those constructs apply to individual psychiatric disorders. We hope that this sparks some degree of curiosity in residents in certain aspects of neuroscience and to that end we encourage them to work on an independent project and make some aspect of neuroscience their own. This is an opportunity for residents to model how they will learn in the future and to contribute to the production of knowledge and scholarship.
Author Affiliation: Melissa Arbuckle, MD, PhD, and E. David Leonardo, MD, PhD are from the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University; and the New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York. The NNCI is supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant Nos. R25 MH086466-07S1 and R44 MH115546-02 and with additional funding from the Society of Biological Psychiatry and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. ©National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative.