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Core Knowledge & Elements of Osteopathic Principles in the Discipline of Psychiatry

Content Outline and Assessment Objectives

The Psychiatry examination is designed for end-of-course or end-of-clinical rotation/clerkship assessment for students enrolled at a college of osteopathic medicine (COM). Individual COMs may also administer the examination at other times in accord with their curriculum goals and mission. This examination emphasizes core knowledge and elements of osteopathic principles and practice in the discipline of Psychiatry that are essential for the pre-doctoral osteopathic medical student.The exam blueprint below contains the Psychiatry topics covered in two dimensions: Dimension 1 – Patient Presentation and Dimension 2 – Physician Tasks.

Dimension 1: Patient Presentation

Anxiety Disorders/Trauma and Stressor Related Disorders/Dissociative Disorders/Obsessive Compulsive and Related Disorders/Adjustment Disorders14–20%
Neurocognitive Disorders9–15%
Neurodevelopmental Disorders/Gender Dysphoria/Disruptive, Impulse-Control and Conduct Disorders9–15%
Depressive, Bipolar and Related Disorders20–25%
Personality Disorders4–8%
Psychiatric Illness Due to Another Medical Condition4–6%
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders5–12%
Somatic-Symptom and Related Disorders4-9%
Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders/Feeding, Eating and Elimination Disorders/Sexual Dysfunctions and Paraphilic Disorders5–10%
Sleep-Wake Disorders2–5%

Dimension 2: Physician Tasks

Health Promotion Disease Prevention/Health Care Delivery5–20%
History & Physical25–45%
Scientific Understanding of Mechanisms10–25%

General Learner-Centered Objectives

Based on general learner-centered objectives, as outlined in the Psychiatry Examination Blueprint, the examinee will be required to demonstrate the ability to apply:

  1. Foundational content knowledge to situations and patient presentations encountered in clinical settings and important to Psychiatry.
  2. Foundational content knowledge and clinical problem-solving ability related to particular physician tasks critical to Psychiatry.
  3. Knowledge and clinical problem-solving as related to the Fundamental Osteopathic Medical Competency Domains, including osteopathic principles and practice and OMT, osteopathic medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, professionalism and patient care.
  4. Osteopathic principles and practice in commonly encountered patient care scenarios.

Selected Specific Learner-Centered Objectives for Psychiatry

For Psychiatry, the examinee will be required to demonstrate the ability to diagnose and manage selected patient presentations and clinical situations involving, but not limited to:

  1. Common Psychiatric Conditions: disorders presenting in the pediatric age group; delirium, dementia, amnestic and related disorders; schizophrenia and related disorders, psychiatric illness due to a general medical condition, somatic dysfunction in psychiatric conditions, substance-related disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, adjustment disorders and personality disorders
  2. Health Promotion/Disease Prevention/Health Care Delivery: assessment of dangerousness, genetic counseling, cross-cultural issues, physician-patient relationship, health care financing and cost effectiveness, and medical ethics
  3. History and Physical Examination: assessment methods (laboratory, neuroimaging, neurophysiologic, and psychological testing), interviewing, rating scales, assessment of physical findings and historical information, mental status examination, structural examination and DSM diagnosis
  4. Management: evidence-based decision making, psychosocial interventions, clinical psychopharmacology and related somatic treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, treatment complications, osteopathic manipulative treatment and treatment guidelines/best practices
  5. Scientific Understanding of Health and Disease Mechanisms: mental health epidemiology, psychosocial foundations, neurobiological foundations, epigenetics, viscerosomatic relationships and other osteopathic principles

Selected Student and Faculty Learning Resources for Psychiatry

In addition to the aforementioned objectives, examples of supplementary resources used by the NBOME to inform the development of the Psychiatry exam are listed below:

  • Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry (ADMSEP) – Educational Objectives for a Junior Psychiatry Clerkship
  • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) – Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles (ECOP)
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOA) – Neurology and Psychiatry
  • American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists (ACONP) – Basic Standards for Residency Training in General Psychiatry

Practice Examination

The Psychiatry Practice Exam is primarily designed to assist the candidate in navigating through the examination, and it is provided to facilitate the actual testing experience. It is not designed to give the candidate a score or provide information about how a candidate might actually perform on the examination. When an answer choice is selected, it will not be recorded for scoring and the selection will not be saved once another item is viewed. If you wish to track your answer choices, you must record them on your own. A special function is provided that allows you to view the correct answer for each item by clicking on the “Show Answer” button located below the answer choices. The “Show Answer” button will not appear on the actual examination.
Launch the Psychiatry Practice Exam

Additional Resources

Title Author Edition Year
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) APA 5th (DSM-5) 2013
Synopsis of Psychiatry Kaplan & Saddock 12th 2021
Introductory Textbook of Psychiatry Black & Andreasen 7th 2020
An Osteopathic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment DiGiovanna, Amen, & Burns 4th 2020
Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine Seffinger 4th 2019
COMAT Clinical Subjects
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