Contributing Author: Ashley Walker, MD, and Kristy Griffith, MD
Overview: A central tension for teaching neuroscience to psychiatry residents lies in finding the balance between advanced concepts and foundational knowledge. Though all residents have learned basic neuroscience in medical school, this may have been many years prior and comfort with this material may have eroded due to a lack of reinforcement during clinical training experiences (either in medical school or in residency).
This module is designed to reinforce foundational knowledge and, in the process, set the stage for more advanced learning. The session consists of a brief, experiential exercise that will help students develop mastery of basic content (i.e. basic neural circuits). This session can be run as a short in-class exercise, perhaps preceding a more advanced exercise on the same topic (e.g. as a brief intro before a translational neuroscience session on Major Depression). The session is also designed so that students can practice it on their own, as often as they like. In this regard, it could be used as part of a “flipped classroom” framework. For example, an instructor might say: “Prior to Monday’s integrative case conference on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, we expect everyone to be able to draw the mechanism of action of bright light therapy. Please complete the NNCI session on this topic in advance. We will begin the in-class session by asking each of you to draw this.”
Dr. Walker and Dr. Griffith are assistant professors in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 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.