Integrating Neuroscience Knowledge and Neuropsychiatric Skills Into Psychiatry: The Way Forward
Department of Psychiatry; Department of Neurology
Medical Education | Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry
Increasing the integration of neuroscience knowledge and neuropsychiatric skills into general psychiatric practice would facilitate expanded approaches to diagnosis, formulation, and treatment while positioning practitioners to utilize findings from emerging brain research. There is growing consensus that the field of psychiatry would benefit from more familiarity with neuroscience and neuropsychiatry. Yet there remain numerous factors impeding the integration of these domains of knowledge into general psychiatry.The authors make recommendations to move the field forward, focusing on the need for advocacy by psychiatry and medical organizations and changes in psychiatry education at all levels. For individual psychiatrists, the recommendations target obstacles to attaining expanded neuroscience and neuropsychiatry education and barriers stemming from widely held, often unspoken beliefs. For the system of psychiatric care, recommendations address the conceptual and physical separation of psychiatry from medicine, overemphasis on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and on psychopharmacology, and different systems in medicine and psychiatry for handling reimbursement and patient records. For psychiatry residency training, recommendations focus on expanding neuroscience/neuropsychiatry faculty and integrating neuroscience education throughout the curriculum.Psychiatry traditionally concerns itself with helping individuals construct meaningful life narratives. Brain function is one of the fundamental determinants of individuality. It is now possible for psychiatrists to integrate knowledge of neuroscience into understanding the whole person by asking, What person has this brain? How does this brain make this person unique? How does this brain make this disorder unique? What treatment will help this disorder in this person with this brain?
DOI of Published Version
Acad Med. 2015 Dec 1. Link to article on publisher's site
Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Schildkrout B, Benjamin S, Lauterbach MD. (2015). Integrating Neuroscience Knowledge and Neuropsychiatric Skills Into Psychiatry: The Way Forward. University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000001003. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/faculty_pubs/828