The overall goals of the Postdoctoral Master of Science Program in Clinical Psychopharmacology are to educate practicing psychologists to work collaboratively with other health care professionals who prescribe medication, to integrate medication and its management in treatment of mental and behavioral disorders, and to prescribe safely and effectively in states and federal agencies that allow psychologists to prescribe. The program conforms to the recommended curriculum of the American Psychological Association. The program curriculum requires 462 hours, including an 18-hour Review Course for the PEP (Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists). The curriculum is designed with the rigor and breadth necessary to train professionals in psychopharmacology. At the same time, it focuses on issues central to the clinical demands and interests of practicing psychologists.
The program offers Continuing Education credit for most courses.
Classes are held over the Internet, using a sophisticated real-time interactive system called Elluminate. All classes are live, and will be archived electronically in case a student is not able to attend synchronously. Students participate in classes from their own computer, or, if desired, make personal arrangements with other local students to participate together at the home or office of one of the students. The Elluminate platform provides opportunities for study sessions, chats, sharing of references and related readings, and many other learning resources.
On completion of this Program, students will have a basic understanding of:
1) The scientific foundations of psychopharmacology, including (but not limited to)
- Biochemical foundations of psychopharmacology
- Normal human anatomy and physiology, specifically the neurological, endocrine, gastrointestinal, metabolic, cardiovascular, immune, respiratory, renal, and reproductive systems
- The relationship of medical disease to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms.
2) The clinical applications of psychopharmacology, including
- Basic classes of prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and herbal and nutritional products, and how these interact with psychopharmacological agents
- The major classes of medications related to mental illness, specifically indications, side effects, toxic effects and discontinuation syndromes, as well as drug-drug interactions
- Use of psychoactive medications with specific populations, including different age and ethnic groups, gender, and co-morbid conditions such as chronic medical disease, chronic pain, chemical dependency, etc.
3) Research and legal/ethical issues related to the practice of psychopharmacology.
Additionally, students will:
- feel sufficiently knowledgeable in psychopharmacology to engage in collaborative assessment and treatment planning with prescribing professionals (or to pursue prescription authority in jurisdictions where it is authorized);
- have sufficient knowledge of psychoactive medications to judge which patients are likely to benefit from pharmacotherapy, and the appropriate medication regimen;
- understand contraindications and risks of psychoactive medication, including in special populations (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, medical diagnosis);
- be able to use available resources to obtain up-to-date evidence-based information in specific medications and treatment guidelines
Post-Doctoral Master of Science in Clinical Psychopharmacology Faculty: San Francisco
John Bolter, PhD
Thomas Brady, MD
Susana Galle, PhD
Robert McGrath, PhD
Matthew Philpott, PhD
John D. Preston, PsyD
Ruth Roa-Navarrete, PsyD
Merrill Norton, PharmD
Morgan T. Sammons, PhD
E. Alessandra Strada, PhD
Randall Tackett, PhD
Steven R. Tulkin, PhD, Program Director