As researchers make progress in understanding genetic aspects of mental illness and its treatment, psychiatrists will increasingly need to understand and interpret genetic information specific to psychiatric disorders. Little is known about the extent to which residency programs are preparing psychiatrists for this new role. This study was designed to explore the current state of genetics education in psychiatric residency.U.S. psychiatric residency educators and residents were invited to participate in an Internet-based survey.Out of 509 educators and at least 207 residents contacted, 100 educators and 135 residents from 55 geographically dispersed U.S. psychiatry training programs in diverse settings responded to the survey. Participants rated genetics as somewhat important as a curricular topic but less important than other subjects. Nearly half of the educators reported that their program had few or no faculty with adequate expertise in teaching this subject. Most residents routinely obtained family psychiatric histories when evaluating patients, but most did not feel competent to order and interpret genetic tests or to interpret papers on psychiatric genetics.This study presents a sobering picture of the state of genetics education in psychiatric residency training. Potential obstacles to improving genetics education include perceptions of the relative importance of genetics in comparison with other topics and a lack of faculty with appropriate expertise.
View details for Web of Science ID 000275434500007
View details for PubMedID 20224019