Attitudes toward neuroscience education among psychiatry residents and fellows

Acad Psychiatry. 2014 Apr;38(2):127-34. doi: 10.1007/s40596-014-0034-x. Epub 2014 Feb 4.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to assess the attitudes of psychiatry trainees toward neuroscience education in psychiatry residency and subsequent training in order to inform neuroscience education approaches in the future.

Methods: This online survey was designed to capture demographic information, self-assessed neuroscience knowledge, attitudes toward neuroscience education, preferences in learning modalities, and interest in specific neuroscience topics. Volunteers were identified through the American Psychiatric Association, which invited 2,563 psychiatry trainees among their members.

Results: Four hundred thirty-six trainees completed the survey. Nearly all agreed that there is a need for more neuroscience education in psychiatry residency training (94%) and that neuroscience education could help destigmatize mental illness (91%). Nearly all (94%) expressed interest in attending a 3-day course on neuroscience. Many neuroscience topics and modes of learning were viewed favorably by participants. Residents in their first 2 years of training expressed attitudes similar to those of more advanced residents and fellows. Some differences were found based on the level of interest in a future academic role.

Conclusions: This web-based study demonstrates that psychiatry residents see neuroscience education as important in their training and worthy of greater attention. Our results suggest potential opportunities for advancing neuroscience education.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / standards
  • Male
  • Neurosciences / education*
  • Physicians / psychology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatry / education*