The Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education

(Deadline: June 30)

The Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education is open to any creative/innovative program for psychiatric education that has been in operation for at least two years, includes program outcome data, and has been a part of a U.S. or Canadian psychiatric residency training program approved by ACGME or The Royal College.  Trainees may include: medical students, residents, other physicians, allied mental health professionals, or members of the community. The program and any contributors must be free from commercial interest or benefit.

Method of Application

Applicants must submit a completed Application Form and any related documentation (total submission not to exceed 30 pages)  by June 30, to Nathan Zastrow at College headquarters via

2024 Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education

University of Calgary: Psychiatry Simulation Training Program

The Simulation Training Program (SIM-P), developed by University of Calgary’s residency training program, was initiated to create a more effective way of teaching approaches and management for common and high-risk safety issues one is likely to encounter on call. Its success since its 2018 inception has seen SIM-P expand steadily, and it is now embedded into the curriculum. By combining a simulation with pre-readings, a brief didactic teaching session, the simulation, and the debrief, residents can increase their competence and confidence in managing these experiences. The ‘live’ element of simulation allows for a chance to perform the skills within the safety of a simulated environment. Out of these simulations there has developed an enhanced ability to teach ethical issues in practice, managing boundary violations, coping with intense emotional reactions, dealing with complex team dynamics, and addressing challenges in involuntary containment and treatment. In addition, the program addresses teaching in topics of diverse and at-risk populations, as well as cultural psychiatry.

The four components of SIM-P training are 1) Foundational Psychiatric Skills for New Residents, which allows residents to experience high risk and high frequency mental health emergencies, enhancing confidence, decreasing anxiety, and promoting a sense of safety and wellness. 2) Complex and Unusual Presentations for Senior Residents, a series of SIMs that explore the management of unusual, complex, and critical patient scenarios which one may not experience frequently or at all through one’s training. This series ensures competency with patient care scenarios, which are rare but critical to understand how to manage. 3) Collaborative integrative SIMs, which are a series of SIMs designed to support the education of staff in faculties which commonly collaborate in the care of psychiatric patients. They are particularly unique as they are co-delivered and debriefed with a resident and staff from another specialty. 4) Socio-Cultural SIMs, a series designed to support the training of residents in meeting the needs of diverse populations and in the practice of sensitive and competent care for patients facing social or culturally challenging experiences in health care settings.

Past Award Recipients

University 0f Vermont Medical Center: Mental Status Exam E-Module

MSE’s are an essential task for budding psychiatrists and a valuable tool across all disciplines of medicine, however it is a challenging topic to teach in the classroom in its entirety due to the complexity of the exam and the sheer number of potential findings, especially since new students rotate onto the psychiatry clerkship every 4 to 6 six weeks. To solve this challenge, the recipients of the 2023 award developed an innovative multimedia Mental Status Exam E-Module for self-study that can be accessed by learners at any time.  Built in Articulate Storyline, the module incorporates video clips, audio recordings, text, and photos to enhance multimodal learning.  It also contains interactive quizzes to consolidate learning and a reference section from which students can print useful resources.

This on-demand module is easy to access on a tablet, computer or phone, is easy to navigate, and has realistic and brief illustrations.  Additionally, since not all clinical sites contain a wide enough mix of patients to bring the full variety of psychiatric illness to life for learners, this module fills a gap in many clinical curricula.  

The Mental Status Exam E-Module is a free resource to medical educators, however access must be requested as per the program’s patient consent process.

Oregon Health & Science University: Quality Improvement in Psychiatry Curriculum

The Quality Improvement in Psychiatry Curriculum (QIPC) was developed by the Residency of OHSU’s Department of Psychiatry under the direction of the Department Quality Medical Director in 2018. The QIPC is a comprehensive approach to teaching psychiatry residents practical quality improvement theory and practice. Its curriculum is a graduated four-year educational experience that teaches foundational concepts in PGY1 and PGY2, followed by both practical and multidisciplinary application of these concepts in the PGY3 year. Harnessing organizational resources to provide a QI experience for residents that map to ACGME common program requirements, the curriculum also offers opportunities for residents to take on leadership roles and engage in scholarly work.

The program’s goals and objectives are: to prepare physicians to be leaders in the practice of safe, high quality, patient centered medicine; foster a culture that encourages proactive reporting, analysis, and innovation; and teach key principles of patient safety, quality improvement, and delivering high value care.

Johns Hokins University: National Curriculum in Reproductive Psychiatry (NCRP)

NCRP is the first standardized curriculum in the field of reproductive psychiatry. This evidence-based, online, freely available curriculum provides a novel and valuable resource for those programs that struggle to provide education in this field. It also provides a much needed and clinically relevant resource for continuing education for practicing psychiatrists who may not have been exposed to such education in their training. The NCRP program is comprehensive, covering the major topics in reproductive psychiatry. Each topic area is divided into three sections: classroom materials, self-study, and continuing medical education (CME). While the curriculum is housed on a website, the bulk of the materials are designed to be used in a classroom setting with trainees and a facilitator. 

Duke University: An Interprofessional Substance Use Disorders Course

The Duke University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences’ program, An Interprofessional Substance Use Disorders Course, was designed to allow students the opportunity to apply classroom learning in the clinical setting to shape their practice behaviors and impact patient outcomes, and to provide students with opportunities to: improve their understanding of SUDs; assess, challenge, and reflect on their attitudes toward patients with SUDs; develop skills in patient communication; receive direct observation, assessment, and feedback on behavior change counseling; and learn with, about, and from other students and clinicians. This study’s purpose was to evaluate the impact of an interprofessional SUDs course on students’ educational outcomes (including attitudes, behaviors, and decisions about patients' treatment) and their attitudes toward inter-professionalism.

The course directly responds to the need for interprofessional substance use disorder education that can prepare students for collaborative care and for health professions education that can achieve educational outcomes affecting student behaviors and patient care.

UC Irvine/UC Davis: Train New Trainers Primary Care Psychiatry Fellowship

The UC Irvine/UC Davis Train New Trainers (TNT) Primary Care Psychiatry (PCP) Fellowship was designed to provide targeted clinical psychiatric training to those with an established background in medicine. The curriculum is centered on addressing common psychiatric conditions and is delivered by an inter-professional faculty team, many of whom are dually trained both in primary care and psychiatry. The fellowship provides over 50 hours of required training. The program  includes: 1) Two weekend teaching sessions, 2) one hour per month of individualized, in person or teleconferenced mentoring sessions with a TNT PCP fellowship faculty member/mentor and 3) live, case-based discussions and patient interviews with a focus on integrated primary care psychiatry on a twice per month basis. Primary care psychiatry curriculum developed by UC Irvine / Davis Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry faculty is provided along with reading material. A critical component of the TNT PCP Fellowship is to facilitate trainees in teaching primary care psychiatry principles to their primary care colleagues.

ADMSEP Clinical Simulation Initiative

The Clinical Simulation Initiative (CSI) is a program to create free, peer-reviewed, online clinical modules for medical students rotating in psychiatry. The initiative was founded in October 2010, to address the need for a nationally curated library of high quality, peer-reviewed and freely accessible online clinical psychiatry cases that medical students and clerkship directors could access to simulate core psychiatric diagnoses for medical student educators. Created in the spirit of free dissemination as part of the Free Open Access Medical Education movement, the program has evolved from an ad hoc group of interested educators at the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) into a standing committee.

National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative (NNCI)

NNCI is an NIH-funded collaboration between educators and neuroscientists to create shared resources for effectively teaching neuroscience to psychiatry trainees and to provide faculty training on how to implement them. Its aimis to create, pilot, and disseminate a comprehensive set of shared resources that will help train psychiatrists to integrate a modern neuroscience perspective into every facet of their clinical work. This collection reflects the collaboration of diverse residency training programs from across the country.  The curriculum is built on principles of adult learning and is adaptable for use in a range of learning environments.

George Washington University: Global Mental Health Program (GMHP)

The program provides a broad curriculum in humanistic psychiatry for all GWU psychiatry residents, within which a Global Mental Health Track is embedded for residents seeking greater clinical and research expertise. GMHP is a national model for teaching global mental health in psychiatry residency education as a four-year curriculum of didactic seminars, supervised clinical training, research, and mental health and human rights advocacy, whose mission is to train psychiatry residents for practice in low- and middle-income countries, post-conflict settings, or immigrant, refugee, and torture-survivor communities in the U.S.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health: Quality Improvement Curriculum for Psychiatry Residents

The program was created to provide a longitudinal experience that provides pragmatic and didactic instruction in quality improvement and patient safety spanning all four years of residency training.

National Comprehensive Telemental Health Educational Training Program
Yale School of Medicine

This program was designed with VA collaboration to train psychiatrists, residents, fellows, and medical students to deliver competent and effective telemental health services, and to develop trainees to become leaders in the future of telemental health.

Psychotherapy Training e-Resources (PTeR)
Department of Psychiatry
McMaster University

PTeR was an evidence-based, comprehensive curriculum offering a standardized approach to teaching and supervising various forms of psychotherapies, including emotion-focused, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, group therapy and family therapy.

Project GREAT
Department of Psychiatry
Georgia Health Sciences University

Project GREAT (Georgia Recovery-Based Educational Approach to Treatment) was a unique educational initiative designed to advance recovery-based principles and care through teaching and direct experience with residents, other mental health trainees, and medical students.

Psychiatry Resident Medical Student Teaching Program
Department of Psychiatry
University of Alberta

This resident-driven program was designed to improve the training medical students receive during their six-week psychiatry clerkships by enhancing the competence and confidence of their resident teachers. As part of the program, the university offered residents intensive training seminars and a teaching manual complete with teaching tips and instructional content

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies Minor (CAMS)
Department of Psychiatry
New York University

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies Minor (CAMS) at New York University provided faculty and advanced residents in child and adolescent psychiatry the opportunity to design and teach original undergraduate courses at NYU’s College of Arts and Science.

Incentives for Encouraging Research Training: An Effective Time-Neutral Strategy
Department of Psychiatry
Medical University of South Carolina

MUSC’s program was designed to encourage physician-scientists interested in pursuing a career in patient-oriented research by offering a research track beginning in the third year of residency training.

Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project
Department of Psychiatry
University of Toronto

This collaborative project between the University of Toronto and the University of Addis Ababa addressed an urgent need for more trained psychiatrists in Ethiopia while providing Canadian psychiatric residents with an appreciation of the impact of cultural issues on mental healthcare.

Diversity Advisory Committee
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
University of California, Davis

The University of California, Davis School of Medicine’s novel Diversity Advisory Committee improved the quality of psychiatric care given to ethnic minority patients through a four-year cultural psychiatry curriculum that included courses on spirituality and religion.

Psychiatric Institute for Medical Students
Department of Psychiatry
University of Toronto

The Psychiatric Institute for Medical Students was a weeklong, rigorous summer program for 15-20 first- and second-year medical students.  The Institute offered exposure to a wide variety of subspecialty experiences in psychiatry, employing interactive seminars on a variety of psychiatric themes followed by elective placements.

Psychiatric Genomics:  Applications for Clinical Practice
Department of Psychiatry
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

This annual Mayo Clinic CME course was a weeklong, intensive immersion experience designed to provide clinicians with a better understanding of the basic molecular genetics and the implications of new genomic findings for clinical practice.

Women's Mental Health Program
Department of Psychiatry
University of Illinois, Chicago

The Women’s Mental Health Program consisted of clinical and didactic educational experiences for trainees from several health care disciplines.  Its goal was to train health care professionals to have expertise in caring for the reproductive and gender-linked mental health needs of women.

Intercultural Psychiatric Program (IPP)
Department of Psychiatry
Oregon Health & Science University, Portland

Begun in 1977, IPP served patients in 17 language groups.  Its primary mission was to help refugees and asylum seekers recover from the effects of war trauma and torture in an academic environment of research, teaching and scholarship.

Department of Psychiatry
University of Kentucky

A low-cost, innovative telemedicine system enabled residents to be taught by national experts in areas in which resources within the department were not sufficient to provide quality educational experiences.  This program utilized new technology which is affordable by most residency programs.

The Missouri Psychotherapy Modules
Department of Psychiatry
University of Missouri, Columbia

Consisting of a pre-module, six modules and a post- module, this program was based on common processes in psychotherapy and was intended to provide an introduction to more advanced school-based and diagnosis-based psychotherapy approaches.

The Scientific Approach in Psychiatry: Teaching Residents About and How to do Research
Department of Psychiatry
State University of New York, Buffalo

This program taught residents how to read medical literature critically and how to develop the analytical thinking skills and core knowledge in statistics and design required to do research.

Ethnic/Minority Psychiatric Inpatient Programs
Department of Psychiatry
San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH)/University of California, San Francisco

The programs at SFGH, the major public hospital for treatment of acute psychiatric illness, comprisedfive inpatient psychiatry wards within which a special cultural/minority focus had been developed in order to meet the special needs of six significant and underserved minority groups found within the City of San Francisco: Asian, Latino, Black, AIDS/HIV, Gay/Lesbian, and Women.

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
University of California, Davis

The University of California, Davis, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and the Departments of Family Practice, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, through successful educational collaboration, developed several unique teaching programs combining primary care and psychiatry.

Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program

Cosponsored by three academic teaching hospitals, a public sector academic mental health center and the largest HMO in the region, this program prepared residents to function in a variety of health care environments.

Department of Psychiatry
University of Ottawa

Established researchers in the department were linked with residents to foster the development of new researchers in psychiatry.  Residents were given a half-day of protected time per week to facilitate their research projects.

Department of Psychiatry
Oregon Health Sciences University

In order to address the lack of psychiatrists working in rural areas and state mental hospitals, residents were given rotations which prepared them to work in the public sector.  The program had a remarkable record of recruiting psychiatrists to work in rural areas, community mental health centers, and state hospitals.

Department of Psychiatry
University of Kentucky

This program employed live drama to teach psychotherapy and to communicate abstract constructs. Actual cases in psychodynamic literature were creatively adapted into scripts and then performed by professional actors.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston
with Charleston/Dorchester Community Mental Health Center and South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Creating a public-academic liaison, these agencies collaborated in developing a comprehensive system of community-based treatment, rehabilitation and support services for relevant public health training and research efforts.