International Society for Sports Psychiatry

ISSP Curriculum

Sports psychiatry is the sub-specialty within psychiatry largely focusing on diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness in athletes. While utilization of psychological approaches to enhance performance may also be part of the work of the sports psychiatrist, it tends to be less so as compared to addressing actual mental illness in this population. The work of sports psychiatry may also involve the use of exercise as a therapeutic or preventative intervention for mental illness. The field is relatively new, such that most medical schools and residency/fellowship programs do not have curricular offerings dedicated to the topic. Moreover, with the population of sports psychiatrists relatively small, and with a relatively small research base, when health care providers do deliver psychiatric care to athletes, they may do so without a full understanding of the diagnostic and therapeutic issues unique to this population. Thus, this curriculum aims to enhance the knowledge base of physicians and physicians-to-be in the science of sports psychiatry, and to increase the skill with which these clinicians provide psychiatric health care to athlete populations. The curriculum is didactic/reading/reflection only (i.e., there is no requirement for a clinic population of athlete-patients, nor any requirement for an experienced on-site sports psychiatry expert), with the hope that it will be useable by as many interested learners as possible regardless of resources available at a given institution. Please feel free to use this curriculum at free will, and disseminate/forward to any relevant groups as you see fit.  

Click here to access the ISSP portable didactic sports psychiatry curriculum.

Click here to access the ACGME Milestones-based evaluation form for use with the curriculum.

Drs. Claudia Reardon and Vuong Vu, with the other members of the ISSP Education Committee who participated in developing the portable didactic curriculum as co-authors, submitted the ISSP curriculum to the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training for consideration as an AADPRT Model Curriculum. It was chosen as a Model Curriculum and a plaque was awarded at the 2019 AADPRT Annual Meeting.


     International Society for Sports Psychiatry is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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