The new curriculum for the University Training Course in Psychiatry in South Limburg and for the Mental Health Services in Eindhoven
background The curriculum for the Academic Training Course in Psychiatry in South- Limburg (uop-zl) needed to be modernised. There were widely differing views about the purpose and function of psychiatry and about the structure of the curriculum. Trainees failed to attend regularly because of their daily duties.
aim Following discussion about the need for modernisation of the course in Psychiatry (hoop), the uop-zl curriculum was thoroughly revised and updated.
method Further development of hoop, a careful study of the teaching material and discussion among members of uop-zl and the Mental Health Service in Eindhoven, led to the development of more unified views about psychiatry and produced the ingredients for a revised curriculum for training in psychiatry.
results In the early stages of their course, trainees are introduced to some basic principles; these include understanding the mechanisms for dimensions of affect, motivation, salience and cognition from a biological, cognitive and ecological perspective, and perceiving the relationship between these factors and normal and abnormal behaviour. The course is a mix of problem based learning and interactive classroom teaching and is delivered by clinical and scientific experts. Every two weeks the trainees in each year-group are given a whole day ‘free’ (i.e. free of normal duties) when they are required to attend classed and lectures.
conclusion The two main results of the new curriculum are: diagnosis-related teaching has been replaced by an approach based on explanatory mechanisms for dimensional psychopathology and dysfunction, and the tuition provided is both problem-based and interactive and is given by expert teachers.