Preparation of the next generation of psychiatric researchers is the focus of this special issue of Academic Psychiatry. This topic is vitally important to our future ability to address the suffering and foster the well-being of people with mental illness. It is also critical to the survival of our field as a clinical discipline based in science. Declining numbers of academic physicians, generally, and psychiatrist researchers, specifically, indicate that it is necessary to redouble our efforts to invite our trainees into the process of scientific work. This special issue has four sections. In each, we seek to gather the insights of psychiatric investigators and educators who will help our early-career colleagues to carry the work of psychiatric research into the coming decades.
In the first section, perspectives of exemplary leaders and researchers in the field of mental illness are presented. Dr. Harold Pincus, an internationally recognized expert in psychiatric research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, presents specific recommendations for increasing the number of new psychiatrist—investigators. Dr. David Shore and colleagues discuss training issues from the perspective of the National Institute of Mental Health and describe educational opportunities sponsored by the Institute. Dr. Rex Cowdry of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill discusses the importance of psychiatric research from the consumer and family perspective, stressing the importance of patient collaboration and the application of clinical-ethical principles in conducting research. Dr. Joel Yager, a renowned psychiatric educator at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, characterizes the important role of educational research as a topic of study in psychiatry.
In the second section, the professional life experiences of our highly esteemed researcher colleagues Drs. Jeffrey Lieberman and Constantine Lyketsos are presented in individual essays.
In the third section, we have included reports of two survey studies focused on research training in psychiatry residencies, the first by Drs. Richard Balon and Sarabjit Singh, the second by Dr. Mary Jo Fitz-Gerald et al. Both surveys highlight the serious limitations of the research training received during residency.
In the final section, we have assembled descriptions of five curriculum models by Drs. Michele Pato and Carlos Pato, Drs. Richard Balon and Thomas Kuhn, Maureen Halpain et al., Drs. Anita Clayton and Adrienne Sheldon-Keller, and Dr. Rif S. El-Mallakh. As a group, these reports show that diverse, promising models exist for research training in a wide variety of contexts, at various levels of training.
We offer our sincere thanks to the editors of Academic Psychiatry, Drs. Samuel Keith and Paul Mohl, for the privilege of creating this special issue. We also extend our appreciation to the authors who generously contributed their good work and good thinking to this project: Richard Balon, M.D. and Thomas W. Kuhn, M.D.; Richard Balon, M.D. and Sarabjit Singh, M.D.; Anita H. Clayton, M.D. and Adrienne E. Sheldon-Keller, Ph.D.; Rex W. Cowdry, M.D.; Rif S. El-Mallakh, M.D.; Mary Jo Fitz-Gerald, M.D. et al.; Maureen C. Halpain, M.S. et al.; Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D.; Constantine G. Lyketsos, M.D., M.H.S.; Michele T. Pato, M.D. and Carlos N. Pato, M.D.; Harold Alan Pincus, M.D.; David Shore, M.D.; Joel Yager, M.D. With tremendous gratitude for their impeccable but too-often-unsung efforts, finally, we wish to thank the people who did the work of building this special issue: Bessie W. Jones, John McDuffie, Elizabeth Stone, Sally Ann Torrez, and Joni Roberts.
Michael P. Bogenschutz, , M.D., Special Issue Guest Editor and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Laura Roberts, , M.D., Special Issue Guest Editor and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine