Shaping the mental health role of family physicians.J Fam Pract. 1981 Apr; 12(4):697-702.JF
Family physicians have an important role in mental health care delivery. The psychiatry and family practice faculty at the University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences recently examined the principal elements of this role and the ways in which these elements might best be incorporated into the teaching/learning process of a family medicine residency. Competency based approaches to curriculum development were chosen to permit flexibility of implementation and to allow involved physicians to participate in definition of their mental health roles. Methods used to construct the curriculum included interviews with graduated residents of the first four classes of the program, literature review, and a modified delphi/nominal group technique with family medicine and psychiatry faculty. The result was a competency based psychiatric curriculum supervised cooperatively by both psychiatry and family medicine faculty. This program is begun early in the residency, is integrated longitudinally into the rest of the residents' curriculum, and utilizes seminars, clinical experience, and liaison with a mental health team in the training design.