Didactics Training

All interns attend several core seminars as part of their internship training, in accordance with APA requirements and recommendations. Interns also have the opportunity to attend any elective seminar offered through the Psychiatry Residency Program or the University of Chicago Medicine. In addition, each track presents its own specific seminar(s) that interns attend as part of their rotations and mentoring; these are explained later in the detailed descriptions for each of the tracks.

Core Seminars and Conferences for Interns:

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience Grand Rounds takes place weekly between September and May, and offers presentations on a wide range of topics in mental health and psychiatric medicine by renowned speakers from around the country. This seminar alternates between a monthly Clinical Grand Rounds, where trainees and faculty present on current clinical cases of note, and research presentations by faculty from within the Department and the larger medical center, as well as researchers from outside the Chicago area.  All psychology interns and senior residents in the Department present during the year as part of the Grand Rounds training series.

The Professional Issues Seminar, facilitated by Dr. Shona Vas, provides the opportunity for interns and psychology training faculty to discuss important issues central to our work and identity as clinical psychologists, including: ethics and standards of practice, psychology as a profession, legal and political issues, diversity issues, and sensitivity to individual differences, the integration of research and clinical work, career development, theoretical bases of important content areas, and socialization into the profession of psychology.  This seminar is designed to prepare interns for the transition from student to health service psychologist.

The Health Psychology Seminar, facilitated by Dr. Tina Drossos and Dr. Nancy Beckman, consists of readings, didactic lectures, case presentations, and open discussion intended to familiarize the intern with the medical center setting and its professional demands. This seminar emphasizes the application of clinical psychology principles to modify biological and psychosocial functioning and adjustment to illness, as well as surveys different disorders common to psychiatric and medical settings, and their treatment.  As part of this seminar, members of the training faculty and outside guest lecturers present their work, with the intention of exposing interns to the myriad roles that psychologists may have as part of an academic medical center. Further, interns receive specific instruction about assessment and intervention for several different medical conditions. 

All interns, along with psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows, attend a course focused on Advanced Cognitive-Behavior Therapy.  Dr. Shona Vas directs the adult CBT course and Drs. Tina Drossos  and Megan Scott directs the child CBT course.  The lectures in this series are designed to provide training in empirically-supported assessment and treatment for most disorders classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders—5.

The monthly Multidisciplinary Case Conference is facilitated by Dr. Lindsay Brauer. Cases involving multiple providers within the department and/or the larger medical center are presented. This seminar encourages multidisciplinary dialog and contributes to the supportive and collaborative learning environment in the Department.

The monthly Diversity Seminar is facilitated by Dr. Sonya Mathies-Dinizulu. Didactic presentations, case discussions, and journal club discussions are used to enhance interns’ awareness and consideration of individual difference variables in several contexts within the medical center environment.

The monthly Supervision Seminar is facilitated by Drs. Matthew Young and Shona Vas. Didactic presentations, group discussion, and in-session activities are utilized in providing interns with foundational knowledge for developing competency in the provision of clinical supervision.

Interns also attend the Department’s monthly “M & M” (Morbidity and Mortality) Conference. This meeting reviews, in a supportive and multidisciplinary environment, recent cases seen by faculty and trainees in the Department, both individually and across disciplines, where concerns regarding ethics, communication, and/or treatment efficacy have occurred.  This is a required meeting in line with Departmental and medical center Quality Assurance guidelines.

In addition to these core seminars, interns attend track and rotation specific didactics. Additionally, the Department, Medical Center, and University each offer a plethora of seminars, lectures and varied educational experiences throughout the year, which interns may choose to attend. For example, interns may attend Grand Rounds in other Departments including Neurology, Medicine, and Pediatrics, lectures offered through the Department of Psychology and the Committee on Human Development, weekly case conferences with the psychiatry residents, and interdisciplinary conferences and courses on conducting research