Neurobiological formulations: Integrating clinical and biological psychiatry

Jonathan Posner, Jonathan Stewart, Ronald Rieder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors describe a pilot program allowing psychiatric residents to participate in neurobiological evaluations of patients with Axis I disorders. The program aimed to familiarize residents with available tools for assessing cognitive and neu-roanatomical abnormalities in psychiatric patients and to foster greater interest among residents in correlating psychiatric symptoms with abnormalities in neural structures and pathways. Methods: Residents meet weekly with a faculty mentor to plan and construct a neurobiological formulation. Residents review the salient literature on the Axis I condition present in a patient of their choosing. The patient undergoes neuroanatomical, physiological, and cognitive testing relevant to his disorder. The resident then integrates the findings from this testing with the patient's clinical presentation. Using a questionnaire, the authors obtain feedback from residents based on residents' experiences with this didactic program. Results: Residents felt they obtained a greater appreciation and understanding of the relevance of neuroanatomical and neuro-physiological abnormalities and testingin clinical psychiatry. The project was well received and residents rated it highly for its educational value. Conclusion: Neurobiological formulations offer a new educational method to foster knowledge and interest among psychiatric residents about the importance of neuroscience in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-484
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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