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Conferences are open to psychiatry residents in all four years. All require compulsory attendance.

Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds are initially on a quarterly basis and increase in frequency as the residency develops. Topics are chosen to complement and build upon foundational knowledge residents obtain in their seminars. Both teaching faculty and outside speakers with specialized expertise are invited as presenters. As the residency program progresses and PGY4 residents complete their professional competency and other research projects, they are invited to present their findings. Grand Rounds are open to all professionals providing mental health care, and presentations are sufficiently broad to be appreciated by all attendees.

Residents’ Journal Club

Journal Club is held monthly and all teaching faculty participate as discussants. A contemporary or historical article or book chapter is chosen to illustrate a particular aspect of critical thinking about the scientific literature (e.g. clinical trials, statistical analysis, single case studies, objectivity in assessing research results) and ethics of publication. Our quantitative research faculty is invited periodically to focus on the practical interpretation of statistics, tables, and graphs. Residents present articles and lead the discussion with residents and faculty.

Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) Conference

This conference is held quarterly, in conjunction with the Ventura County Behavioral Health Quality Assurance Department. The M&M conference is interdisciplinary, with participation by all mental health (and other) professionals involved with the clinical situation under consideration. Patients and clinical situations considered are those that exemplify a less-than-desired outcome, be it from deficiencies in care or system weaknesses. An approach is taken that ascertains the most basic level of deficiencies that require remediation, and specific remediations are recommended.


Seminar teaching sessions align with didactic topics. Residents have protected time to attend the seminar series, case conferences, journal club, grand rounds, and morbidity and mortality conferences. The seminar sessions are designed to augment training the residents receive on individual clinical services by ensuring comprehensive instruction in psychopathology, evaluation and diagnosis, psychopharmacology, diverse psychotherapies, neuroscience and genetics, sociocultural aspects of mental illness, and ethical and legal concerns. Faculty emphasize concepts of evidence-based medicine throughout seminar sessions. Residents also present formally during some sessions and receive feedback on their presentation skills.

To fulfill their broad medical training requirements, PGY1 residents have rotations on services other than psychiatry. During these rotations, the residents have protected time to attend the psychiatric didactic programs.

Our seminar sessions are generally three to four hours long, with three short intermissions. They are conducted weekly throughout the calendar year, with exceptions for major federal holidays and major professional meetings.

We also have a process group on our academic days, in which all psychiatry residents are invited to participate.