Primary Care Psychiatry



  • Thursday, May 9, 2024 (8:00 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, December 12, 2024 (8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.) 

Location: West Bank Office Building

This lecture-based course covers a variety of topics that primary care physicians encounter, such as ADHD, chronic pain, bipolar disorder, depression, mood disorders, and psychotropics and pregnancy.

Individual lectures may change at the course director’s discretion, but the course retains a focus on the management and medications for a number of common disorders.

  • ADHD treatment: stimulants
  • Adverse effects of drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Bipolar and anxiety disorders
  • Depression and dementia in geriatrics
  • Major depression—pharmacologic management
  • Psychotropic drug interactions
  • Psychotropics and pregnancy

Registration is for non-University of Minnesota family medicine residents, medical students, and community physicians or healthcare professionals. Fees include tuition, syllabus, and access to online course materials for one year.

Learning Objectives

Psychotropic Medications During Pregnancy and Postpartum

  • Identify the main clinical issues in diagnosing and treating pregnant women with depression or anxiety
  • Understand the risks and benefits of prescribing commonly used psychotropic medications during pregnancy
  • Understand the concerns patients should understand in deciding to breastfeed while taking psychotropic medications
  • Know how to perform an adequate risk/benefit discussion in prescribing treatment for pregnant or nursing women
  • Know how to use the Internet and other public resources to facilitate best practices

Anxiety Disorders

  • Understand the causes of anxiety symptoms and the different anxiety disorders
  • Understand the treatment rationales for different types of anxiety

Depression: What are we Really Treating?

  • Understand the dilemmas with the current medical model for treating depression
  • Explore the advantages and disadvantages of the dominant US approach in primary care
  • Describe what a good clinician might do to evaluate a patient not responding to initial treatment for depression

Antipsychotics in Primary Care

  • Understand the mechanisms of action and differential side effects of typical vs. atypical antipsychotics
  • Understand the clinical uses of atypicals
  • Understand their dosing, side effects, and monitoring required

Major Depression - Pharmacologic Management

  • Understand basic biologic mechanisms of depression and antidepressant medications
  • Develop assessment strategies for evaluating depressive disorders
  • Develop effective strategies for the pharmacologic management of depressive disorders

Bipolar Affective Disorder

  • Understand the concept and general diagnostic issues of the bipolar spectrum illnesses
  • Review the presentation of these disorders in primary care settings
  • Review general pharmacologic strategies for treating bipolar manic and depressive episodes and maintenance therapy
  • Understand the potential risks of antidepressant therapy in patients with bipolar spectrum disorders

Differentiating Between Depression and Early Alzheimer's Disease in the Elderly

  • Provide an overview of the epidemiology and phenomenology of both dementia and depression in the elderly
  • Present methods for differentiating depression versus dementia, emphasizing the overlapping symptoms
  • Discuss the importance of executive function in the elderly and its relation to apathy and other behavioral changes
  • Review both non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments of agitation, including evidence‐based information on determining when and how to use antipsychotics in the elderly

Neurological Base of ADHD

  • Discuss the prevalence and etiology of ADHD
  • Recognize the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults and challenges of comorbidity
  • Understand different pharmacological treatments of ADHD
  • Discuss how to monitor treatment

Antidepressants: Adverse Effects and Interactions

  • Review adverse effects of antidepressants
  • Compare adverse effects across drug classes in order to create strategies on how to select the correct agent
  • Define drug interactions
  • List common drug interactions in psychopharmacology