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PTSD: Pathophysiology, Treatment, and Military Aspects

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 10/1/2017

Expiration Date: 10/1/2020

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Physician: 1.5
  • Participation: 1.5



Depending on the area sampled, between 50% and 90% of the population have been exposed to a traumatic experience during their lifetime, with 6.8% going on to experience PTSD. The impact on those exposed to military combat is dramatically higher, with 17-25% experiencing PTSD. This course discusses the pathophysiology, treatment, and military aspects of PTSD including the unique characteristics of combat operational stress as well as the currently available treatment modalities for PTSD.


  • General Member - Free
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - Free
  • Non-Member - $30.00

Learning Objectives

  • Describe key concepts of the neuroscience of traumatic stress response including fear conditioning, neural circuits and HPA dysregulation, memory reconsolidation, and epigenetic modification.
  • Recognize the implications of the neurobiology of the traumatic stress for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Describe currently available treatment modalities for the treatment of PTSD within three categories: pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and complementary and alternative medicine.
  • Determine which PTSD treatment modalities are best suited for different patients and how they can be used in combination in a clinical setting.
  • Describe and recognize the unique characteristics, symptoms, and treatment of Combat Operational Stress and how they relate to military PTSD in a clinical and occupational setting.
  • Detect the stigma factors and barriers that impact willingness to seek care and compliance with treatment among military and veteran patients, and recognize the screening mechanisms for identification of PTSD. 

Target Audience


Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duraton : 1.5 hours
Start Date: October 1, 2017
End Date: October 1, 2020

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 66% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • David Benedek, MD, COL, MC, USA, Professor & Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Associate Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.


  • Stephanie Auditore, Director of Membership, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Eric Meyer, MD, Assistant Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Christopher Warner, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Scientist, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress Assistant Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Gary Wynn, MD, COL, MC, Commander, USA MEDDAC-FSGA, Consultant to The Surgeon General – Psychiatry, Dept of Psychiatry, USUHS. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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