Didactic Curriculum

At UCLA San Fernando Valley, didactic courses are meticulously designed to complement clinical training throughout all four years of residency. PGY1 courses introduce residents to core topics in psychiatry, including an introduction of psychotherapy, diagnostic evaluations, pharmacotherapy for the inpatient and emergency settings, and preparation for the¬†Psychiatric Resident-in-Training Examination. Courses in the PGY2 and beyond parallel the residents’ outpatient therapeutic experiences and augment the breadth of training. Residents are introduced to various subspecialty areas of training, including research methodology, child psychiatry, and substance dependency. The PGY4 curriculum is notable for its emphasis on exploring professional opportunities and transitioning from psychiatrist-in-training to independent practitioner.

The program utilizes various measures to gauge the progress of housestaff and the training experience. Direct observation of work with patients and performance in seminars is combined with a review of the written clinical record. All residents take the Psychiatric Resident-in-Training Examination (PRITE) yearly as a measure of their knowledge compared to their peers nation-wide. From PGY1 on, mock oral exams follow the format of the American Board of Psychiatry. These exams are designed to encourage competence in clinical assessment, differential diagnosis, case formulation, and treatment plan. Residents also maintain a log of psychotherapy cases to ensure a balanced mix of clinical experience across diagnostic categories and utilization of a variety of therapeutic modalities.

Specific courses include:


  • Clinical Psychopharmacology
  • Dynamic Theory & Interviewing
  • Ethical & Forensics Issues
  • Phenomenology & the DSM
  • PRITE Preparation Course


  • Ego & Self Psychology
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Supervision
  • Group Psychotherapy
  • Introduction to Psychotherapy
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychoanalytic Theory
  • Outpatient Psychopharmacology


  • Advanced Therapeutics
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Child Development
  • Culture & Community
  • History of Psychiatry
  • Jungian Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Prolonged Exposure Therapy
  • Research Methodology


  • Anxiolytic Techniques
  • Ethics
  • Private Practice
  • Termination Seminars
  • Additional electives tailored to each resident’s interests