Popular media is saturated with stories about psychiatry and psychiatric illness. As medical professionals and mental health providers, we have all had the experience of being approached by a friend at a party — or by a patient or a family member – who is eager to ask for our opinion on the latest media story. Being able to thoughtfully field these questions is a core professional skill.
To this end, we have developed the “Neuroscience in the Media” module. The overall goal of this course is that participants will be able to serve as ambassadors of psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience who can thoughtfully communicate findings from the field to a lay audience.
In this interactive exercise, participants review and appraise media content on a neuroscience-related topic (for example, a recent newspaper article, blog, podcast, or tv show). They imagine what a patient or family member might ask if they saw the piece and assess the face-validity of any media claims. Participants then identify and appraise scientific literature related to the content and role play how they might discuss the media piece with a patient or family member.