Psychiatry in the Deep South: a pilot study of integrated training for psychiatry residents and seminary students

Acad Psychiatry. 2012 Jan 1;36(1):51-5. doi: 10.1176/appi.ap.09120252.


Objective: The authors describe an interdisciplinary training experience developed for psychiatry residents and seminary students that assessed each group's beliefs and attitudes toward the other's profession. The training was designed to enhance awareness, positive attitudes, and interaction between the disciplines.

Methods: From 2005 to 2008, PGY-2 general-psychiatry residents and PGY-5 child-psychiatry residents (N=30) participated alongside psychology interns (N=13) and seminary students (N=41). The intervention consisted of two 3-hour sessions. Measurements addressed demographics, participants' spirituality, and attitudes toward mental illness, mental-health practitioners, and clergy.

Results: The psychiatry residents' knowledge regarding the training of clergy was significantly increased by the training sessions. The seminary students' attitudes and knowledge of psychiatry/psychology changed significantly in a positive direction.

Conclusion: This pilot course had a positive impact on both groups of participants. This model could be modified for other psychiatry programs, to include clergy students of different religious faiths as relevant to the demographics of the training location.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Awareness
  • Clergy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Studies*
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation / methods
  • Psychiatry / education*
  • Southeastern United States
  • Spirituality
  • Students, Medical / psychology*