From foundations to frontiers: the status and perception of formulation teaching in Canadian English-speaking psychiatry residency programs
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Memorial University of Newfoundland
University of Ottawa
Submission date: 2016-12-01
Final revision date: 2017-04-21
Acceptance date: 2017-04-24
Publication date: 2017-06-28
Corresponding author
Catherine Margaret Hickey   

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Dr. L.A. Miller Centre, 100 Forest Rd., A1A 1E5 St. john's, NL, Canada
Arch Psych Psych 2017;19(2):73-80
Aim of the study:
Formulation is considered a key competence that should be taught during psychiatry training in residency. The scientific literature indicates shortcomings in teaching this clinical skill such as a lack of standardization and clear guidelines. The main objective of this research was to examine psychiatry residents’ perception regarding teaching of formulation in Canadian psychiatry residency programs.

Subject or material and methods:
All Canadian psychiatry program directors in English programs were emailed a link for the study survey. The survey had a mix of closed and open-ended questions. With the exception of one Program Director, the survey link was distributed by all of the Program Directors. 116/661 (17.5%) of residents completed the survey.

Overall, results of this survey indicated that residents did not feel very competent in their formulation skills, although they felt this was an important ability. Residents mostly learn it through individual supervision or through mentoring with a senior resident.

Residents suggested a more structured approach in teaching formulation, as well as adding a small group format or workshops.

This research could provide guidance to educators in developing new curricula in the context of the upcoming transition to the competence-based framework by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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