This report describes one in a series of National Institute of Health (NIH) supported conferences aimed at enhancing the ability of leaders of psychiatry residency training to teach research literacy and produce both clinician-scholars and physician-scientists in their home programs. Most psychiatry training directors would not consider themselves research scholars or even well-schooled in evidence based practice. Yet they are the front line educators to prepare tomorrow's psychiatrists to keep up with, critically evaluate, and in some cases actually participate in the discovery of new and emerging psychiatric knowledge. This annual conference is meant to help psychiatry training directors become more enthusiastic, knowledgeable and pedagogically prepared to create research-friendly environments at their home institutions, so that more trainees will, in turn, become research literate, practice evidence-based psychiatry, and enter research fellowships and careers. The overall design of each year's meeting is a series of plenary sessions introducing participants to new information pertaining to the core theme of that year's meeting, integrated with highly interactive small group teaching sessions designed to consolidate knowledge and provide pragmatic teaching tools appropriate for residents at various levels of training. The theme of each meeting, selected to be a compelling and contemporary clinical problem, serves as a vehicle to capture training directors' attention while teaching relevant brain science, research literacy and effective pedagogy. This report describes the content and assessment of the 2011 annual pre-meeting, "Evidence-based Approaches to Suicide Risk Assessment and Prevention: Insights from the Neurosciences and Behavioral Sciences for use in Psychiatry Residency Training.".
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The pre-meeting represented the sixth in an ongoing series and a second round of grant funding through R-13 mechanisms of the NIH. Thus it seemed appropriate to end the sixth meeting with a reflection on the data from the first five (2006–2010), presented by the PI of the original R-13 grant, Michele T. Pato, MD. She presented the goals of the first 5 years as: 1) providing a program that would make learning enjoyable, 2) improving psychiatric educators’ knowledge on important and contemporary topics, 3) preparing educators to disseminate this new knowledge through teaching and distributing material, and 4) increasing training directors’ ability to train residents in research and evidence based medicine (EBM) by becoming more research-literate themselves. While the full results are now part of a paper in press in Academic Psychiatry, in general the pre-meeting series in its 5 years of funding was successful in meeting all of these goals. All but 3 of the approximately 180 training programs attended at least 1 of the 5 pre-meetings, and 70%–80% (about 140/180) had a representative at all 5. As a way of exploring the impact of the series, attendees were asked to complete online surveys between each of the 5 pre-meetings. Despite differences in the number of people who completed the survey each year, more training programs reported the inclusion of EBM teaching in their curriculum, increasing from only 75.2% of respondents before the 2006 pre-meeting to 92.6% of respondents between the 2009 and 2010 pre-meetings. Roughly 48% of respondents reported they had enhanced their curriculum by adding at least some EBM and research literacy to their teaching in the specific content areas that we covered in the pre-meetings. Finally, more than 70% of respondents had made the textbooks and other resource materials from each pre-meeting available within their libraries, and 32% of respondents had incorporated chapters and articles into assigned readings in their residency training programs.