A Small Helpful Tool

Organization is a key ingredient to a graduate student’s success. At MSPP, students typically have a lot going on: practicum/internship, school work, part-time work, and something that ever so slightly resemblances a social life. I previously wrote about how difficult it is to juggle all these aspects, but I wanted to introduce you to another lifesaving tool: diagnostic tabs.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, also known as the DSM-5 is the most recent update to the APA’s diagnostic tool. It was published last May, and insurances are now beginning to require codes and diagnoses from this edition. This book is everything to MSPP students, and because we rely on it so often, I strongly recommend investing in diagnostic tabs.

The manual itself is quite large, and unless you memorize each diagnoses respective page, it can be quite time consuming to continuously search for a specific disorder. Often times, you are facing a time crunch and need to find a specific disorder immediately, which the tabs make possible. The tabs are color-coded by diagnosis with the names clearly visible. There are 69 labels in total and they are simple to install. Similar to the index system found in dictionaries, the diagnostic tabs break down the DSM-5 into an easy to use manner that is quite efficient.

I’ve relied upon the tabs in my Adult Psychopathology class and they’ve been really helpful in introducing me to the organization system within the DSM-5; I am able to better understand the various sections. The diagnostic tabs were designed by graduate students and the best part is that they are permanent. As clinicians, the DSM-5 is an important to have for the future, and the tabs’ reliability is a great reason to invest in them.

Personally, I was drawn to their color-coded aspect, because I am a visual learner. By associating colors with the various categories, I have been able to quickly learn about the disorders. This has helped immensely because my Adult Psychopathology class has been my first introduction to the manual.

The DSM-5 is a required textbook for incoming students, and I highly suggest you buy a set of diagnostic tabs as well. You can buy them at http://diagnostictabs.com/.

Good luck! 

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