Behavioral Science Curriculum

The Shadyside Family Medicine Residency is committed to providing a strong behavioral science curriculum. The core faculty includes a licensed clinical social worker and a psychiatrist. The curriculum is focused on teaching at the point of care. There are several initiatives designed for this purpose. Evidence based protocols for the diagnoses and treatment of depression, anxiety and substance abuse in primary care both promotes and supports the residents’ competence in managing these commonly presenting disorders.

Residents can see their outpatients together with the psychiatrist to improve their diagnostic skills as well as to enhance competence in biopsychosocial treatment planning and psychopharmacologic treatment. Select well-child care visits are co-precepted by a pediatrician and clinical social worker. During these expanded visits, residents enhance their ability to identify developmental/behavioral concerns and provide the appropriate guidance or intervention strategies.

Residents fine-tune medical interviewing skills by reviewing videotaped office visits with the faculty immediately following designated clinical sessions.

A Behavioral Science faculty member joins the inpatient team for table rounds on a weekly basis. A bi-weekly Balint group, led by leaders nationally credentialed by the American Balint Society, enhances residents’ understanding of the doctor-patient relationship. On alternate weeks, Resident Support groups promote coping skills. In addition, residents make several visits to social service agencies to learn about resources available in the community.

Psychiatry/Behavioral Medicine conferences are held monthly, with various formats including skill development workshops, case conferences, psychopharmacology consultations, patient interviews, and a variety of other presentations. These sessions are interactive and multi-modal. In addition to the substantive formal instruction, behavioral health issues are addressed regularly by the Family Medicine faculty throughout the three years as part of inpatient and outpatient clinical teaching.

Members of the behavioral science faculty are able to see patients with residents when needed. A rotation in inpatient/outpatient psychiatry in the second year rounds out the curriculum. This rotation offers experiences in inpatient psychiatry consultation-liaison services and outpatient psychiatry in medical outpatient settings. Residents have the opportunity to see psychiatric problems in both medical inpatient and outpatient settings where family physicians ordinarily encounter these issues. They gain more experience in recognition, diagnosis, biopsychosocial treatment planning and psychopharmacologic management.