Psychiatry Resident Education in Neurocognitive Disorders: a National Survey of Program Directors in Psychiatry

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Objective: As major neurocognitive disorders increase, little research has examined how psychiatry residents are prepared to provide neurocognitive care to patients. Methods: A national survey was sent to program directors of general psychiatry in the USA and Canada, including questions about satisfaction, attitudes, and graduation expectations for training in major neurocognitive disorders. The authors examined descriptive statistics and a series of chi-squared analyses by training setting, residency type, and presence of subspecialty fellowships. The authors also collected free text responses about perceived needs for enhancing training. Results: Program directors agreed that the scope of general psychiatry includes the evaluation of cognitive disorders (78.8%) and the treatment of cognitive symptoms (77.5%) and behavioral/psychological symptoms (78.8%). Required clinical rotations were the preferred method of teaching (63.7%), but didactics were most used (93.8%). The most frequently used clinical teaching setting was geriatric psychiatry (61.3%) and didactics were most frequently taught by geriatric psychiatrists (75.0%). Fifty-six percent were satisfied or very satisfied with their clinical training and 66.3% with their didactics. There were no significant differences in satisfaction or attitudes when compared by training setting, residency type, or presence of subspecialty fellowships. Additional trained faculty were most frequently listed as a need for improving clinical and didactic training. Conclusions: Psychiatry program directors view major neurocognitive disorders as part of the scope of psychiatric practice. The majority of training is provided within psychiatry rotations, especially geriatric psychiatry. Program directors reported several unmet needs for optimal training, particularly related to clinical training services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Dementia
  • Education
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Neuroscience education
  • Psychiatry residency education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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