Objective: To demonstrate the importance of providing psychiatric training to primary care practitioners in ambulatory care settings. Additionally, to describe the model used for this purpose in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in order to further stimulate educational opportunities on this topic.
Method: A review of the psychiatric curriculum offered to family practice residents during their PGY-2 year one-month rotation in psychiatry at the University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute is provided. Emphasis is given to key areas of the curriculum such as: knowledge, skills, and attitude development. Special focus on the clinical and educational experiences is also offered for the purpose of providing unique perspectives about the curriculum methodology.
Results: The careful assessment of the feedback obtained from the family practice residents who were exposed to this ambulatory training model demonstrates that this type of setting was satisfactory for the teaching of psychiatry to primary care residents.
Conclusions: Primary care residents have always treated a large number of psychiatric patients. Given the current status of our health care system, primary care practitioners should have even a greater role in the future delivery of psychiatric services. In this article, we offer a model of training for primary care residents in psychiatry, which emphasize cost-effectiveness, high quality of care, and ambulatory care settings.