Dr. Kowal’s Required Reading: What Should I Read in First Year?
By Dr. Cory Kowal
As the year comes to an end and PGY5s move into fellowships or their new jobs, we welcome a new group of PGY1s to programs across the country. Over the coming year, I would like to share with you the books that I found particularly helpful in my first year of residency. They helped prepare me for my psychiatry rotations, but also kept me excited and motivated as I slogged through numerous off-service rotations. These books will give you an understanding of psychiatry from very different, but equally important, viewpoints. Today’s featured book focuses on psychiatric interviewing.
The Art of Understanding: A Practical Guide for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Nurses, and Other Mental Health Professionals, 3E By Shawn Christopher Shea MD. ISBN 978-1437716986
If you only read one book in first year, this is a must! I read the previous edition in fourth year medical school, and have referred back to it ever since. This book teaches a number of very important interviewing skills while helping to define and explain techniques you may already be utilizing. Further, it delves into interviewing specific pathologies and how to examine a differential diagnosis in those interviews. I’ve been especially thankful for the subcommittee that explains Dr. Shae’s specific way to inquire about suicidal ideation.
The book is very engaging with interesting cases and examples of transcribed interviews. The newest edition includes a video component where Dr. Shae explains core concepts and his theories of interviewing, including demonstrations of his techniques. I realize that there are many books about interviewing, but this has been my favourite thus far.
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