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Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety in the Primary Care Setting - 3 CME Credits

Explore key issues in the psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic management of anxiety disorders

Start Date: Apr 19, 2019
Duration: ~ 3 hours
Price: $149

Course Description

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Anxiety disorders are frequently encountered in medical practice, often presenting in masked form as somatic complaints. This course describes the differential diagnosis of anxiety disorders, notes the common comorbid medical conditions and medications that can cause anxiety, and highlights other psychiatric disorders that often coexist with anxiety disorders. The course describes in detail the key elements of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social and generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and phobias, and discusses treatment planning, including both psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic approaches to each specific anxiety disorder.

Key issues in the psychopharmacologic management of anxiety disorders, including the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines, and other psychotropic medications are discussed in detail. The choices for appropriate evidence-based psychotherapy approaches to anxiety disorders are reviewed and examined. Issues pertinent to risk management and patient safety concerns are described. This course prepares the clinician to systematically develop diagnostic assessment and treatment planning for the broad range of anxiety disorders seen in clinical practice.

This course is designed for primary care and specialty physicians, pharmacists, psychologists, physician assistants, nurses, and nurse practitioners.

What You'll Learn

  • Review diagnoses of different anxiety disorders
  • Describe how to initiate treatment with medications and refer for psychotherapy
  • Identify risk management and patient safety issues


Russell G. Vasile, MD

Russell G. Vasile, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Director, Affective Disorders Consultation Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety in the Primary Care Setting is organized as follows:

Precourse Information:
Accreditation and AMA Credit Designation
Disclosure Statement
How to Take This Course
Viewing Videos
Grading and Certificates

Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety in the Primary Care Setting
Anxiety Overview
Panic Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder
Specific Phobia
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Conditions
Course Summary

(Each of the above sections contains subsections on pharmacologic treatment,, psychotherapy, and a question-based case study.)

CME Certificate
CME Posttest
Course Evaluation



The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Creditsâ„¢. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Disclosure Policy

Harvard Medical School has long held the standard that its continuing medical education courses be free of commercial bias.

In accord with the disclosure policy of the Medical School as well as standards set forth by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), course planners, speakers, and content reviewers have been asked to disclose any relevant relationship they, or their spouse or partner, have to companies producing, marketing, re-selling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. In addition, faculty have been asked to list any off-label uses of pharmaceuticals and/or devices for investigational or non-FDA approved purposes that they plan to discuss.

Such disclosure is not intended to suggest or condone bias in any presentation, but is elicited to provide the course director and participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a given presentation.

Disclosure Statement

All individuals including course directors, planners, reviewers, faculty, staff, etc., who are in a position to control the content of this educational activity have, on behalf of themselves and their spouse or partner, reported no financial relationships related to the content of this activity.


Dr. Russell G. Vasile is an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and director of the Affective Disorders Consultation Program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is a graduate of Princeton University, class of 1970, and Harvard Medical School, class of 1974. He completed his psychiatric residency training at the Harvard Medical School–Massachusetts Mental Health Center program in 1978. He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Vasile has published in diverse areas related to the assessment and treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. These publications have included topics such as the psychopharmacologic management of depression and anxiety disorders, biopsychosocial approaches to affective disorders consultation, and the use of brain imaging in the assessment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Dr. Vasile is a graduate of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute and is certified in forensic psychiatry. He is a past recipient of the Elvin V. Semrad Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He has presented an annual program on advances in the treatment of affective disorders for the Harvard Medical School Continuing Medical Education Program over the past 20 years.


Assessment and Treatment of Anxiety in the Primay Care Setting:
Original Release: 10/25/2009
Most Recent Update: 4/19/2019

End Date: 4/19/2022 (Enrollment ends 3/19/2022)


How long will this course take?

This course should take approximately 3 hours to complete. You do not need to complete it all at once. You may come back as often as you like.

How long will this course be available?

This self-paced course will close three years after its start date. Enrollments will close one month prior to end date.

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What if I want to learn more about this topic?

HMS Continuing Education holds live topic-focused conferences throughout the year. Please see our course catalog for upcoming events.