Psychiatrists face dual challenges during the coming decade. Neuroscientists continue to elucidate neurobiological processes that underlie each psychiatric disorder. These discoveries press psychiatrists to understand brain mechanisms of illness. On the other hand, psychiatric disorders have proven to be brain disorders that are exquisitely sensitive to the emotional and communicational environments in which patients live. The emotional stressors, shifting relationships, and cultural diversity of patients' lives press psychiatrists to become ever more facile in using dialogue and relationships therapeutically. The GW psychiatry curriculum trains residents to meet both of these challenges capably.
The GW psychiatry residency is organized by its strong commitment to psychiatric humanism. GW psychiatry residents learn clinical approaches that embrace the complexity of patients' lives in their family, community, and cultural contexts. They learn biological and psychosocial therapies within a broad and balanced biopsychosocial curriculum. They draw from multiple clinical perspectives and therapeutic traditions to tailor treatments that address creatively each patient's concerns. They provide both evidence-based treatments for patients’ psychiatric disorders and relief from suffering due to grief, demoralization, spiritual anguish, humiliation from stigma or social injustice, and other normal syndromes of distress. GW psychiatry residents become well-prepared for practice in the urban and international environments that characterize the Washington metropolitan area.