Top 10 Books for Psychiatry Residents

Top 10 books to read that will help you be a better psychiatrist and better prepared for the ABPN Psychiatry Board Exam and PRITE

1. Psychiatric interviewing: the art of understanding by Shawn C. Shea
The book details effective interviewing focusing on the therapeutic alliance in psychiatry and asking questions that give accurate answers. The book also details signs and symptoms of psychiatric disease as well as gives a great example of how to structure and write up a diagnostic interview. This book would be more relevant for clinical practice versus studying for the ABPN psychiatry boards or PRITE.

2. Psychodynamic psychiatry in clinical practice Glen O. Gabbard. The book details the psychological, biological and environmental causes of the major psychiatric illnesses from a dynamic perspective. Perhaps the most comprehensive brief text on the subject. This book is helpful in preparing for the ABPN psychiatry board exam as well as clinical practice.

3. Psychoanalytic diagnosis: understanding personality structure in the clinical process by Nancy McWilliams. This text details the dynamic underpinnings of all the major personality styles. It also gives a great example of how to structure and write up the interview. Helpful for the few psychoanalytic questions that might find their way onto the psychiatry boards.

4. Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments in Psychiatry by Glen O. Gabbard . A very comprehensive overview of treating all major psychiatric diagnosis from substance abuse to personality disorders. This book is an excellent resource for treatment questions for ABPN Psychiatry board preparation.

5. Brain Calipers: A Guide to a Successful Mental Status Exam by David J. Robinson. A humorous and insightful guide to the mental status examination. The cartoons are well drawn and the material is accurate and well sourced.

6. The Psychiatric Interview by Daniel J. Carlat. This book is concise and a great primer and quick resource to review before an interview. Fits in your pocket. Great for clinical practice, less so for psych boards.

7. Sims’ Symptoms in the mind: An Introduction to Descriptive Psychopathology by Femi Oyebode. This book introduces the language and vocabulary of describing psychopathology.

8. Object Relations and Self Psychology: An Introduction. This book details all of the contributions of the major players in psychodynamic psychiatry. There is enough background to get a strong sense of the history of the field without being overwhelming.

9. Learning Cognitive-Behavior Therapy by Jesse Wright. Published by the APA, this is a core competency in Psychotherapy. It is an easy read and includes a DVD as well as many useful tables. Helpful when reviewing for psychotherapy questions for psychiatry board review.

10. Learning Supportive Psychotherapy by Winston, Rosenthal and Pinsker. Also published by the APA, this book includes a great theoretical discussion of why any therapy works as well how to do it. Includes a DVD.

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