Psychiatry Residency Training Program

Curriculum 

Post Graduate Year III & IV

PGY-III and PGY-IV training is longitudinal just as one's practice experience will be upon graduation. The PGY-III year is dedicated to training in all aspects of outpatient psychiatry, including psychopharmacology; community and child psychiatry; and family, group, and individual psychotherapy. PGY-IV residents continue their outpatient work and are given the flexibility to construct a year that will accomplish their remaining training goals while pursuing individual interests in research, teaching, administration, or subspecialty practice.

PGY-III residents work closely with 9 different supervisors in the UMass Ambulatory Psychiatry Clinic and a community mental health center. Family, couple's and group therapies are done as co-therapies with the supervisor. Child diagnostic evaluations are done by pairs of residents working together with a supervisor. 2-3 residents work together with an attending psychiatrist in psychopharmacology clinic one half day per week throughout the PGY-III and PGY-IV years. PGY-III residents spend one day per week treating outpatients with serious and persistent mental illnesses at either an urban mental health center (Worcester Community Healthlink) or a rural/suburban mental health center (Carson Center for Adults and Families, Westfield). Supervision at both CMHC's is by core UMass teaching faculty. Specialty teams, such as the Hispanic Team, the Homeless Outreach and Assessment Team, and the Program for Assertive Community Treatment, are available. Most PGY-IV residents elect to continue to spend one half to one day per week at their community mental health center. Residents treat two child patients and at least 6 adult patients inlong-term outpatient psychotherapy, utilizing either psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy techniques as appropriate to the particular case, with 3-4 hours per week of individual psychodynamic, cognitive, and child psychotherapy supervision.

PGY-III and PGY-IV residents participate in continuous seminars in psychotherapy, child psychiatry; psychodynamic, cognitive, family, and group psychotherapies; psychopathology; and special topics. PGY-III and PGY-IV residents join together for 24 month seminars in biological psychiatry and public sector psychiatry. The Biological Psychiatry Seminar focuses on one topic each month with a lecture, a psychopharmacology journal club, a neuroscience journal club, and a case conference related to the topic. The PGY-IV core seminar is planned by the residents themselves, and typically includes mock oral examinations, a transition to practice seminar, negotiation training, hypnosis, written board review, and advanced topics of interest to the class. Residents regularly present at outpatient, psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and neuropsychiatry case conferences. PGY-IV residents are also encouraged to undertake an academic project (literature review, paper, research, grand rounds presentation, etc.) in collaboration with a faculty member. Chief residencies are available in inpatient psychiatry, consult-liaison/emergency mental health, outpatient psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and public sector psychiatry, as well as the position of program chief resident. Chief residencies include meaningful clinical, administrative, and teaching responsibilities that provide a competitive advantage in the job market. Chief residents present a departmental case conference or grand rounds. UMass offers a wide variety of elective experiences in psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, neuropsychiatry, family therapy, geriatric psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, mental health administration, community psychiatry, HIV clinic, homeless outreach, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatric research, or domestic violence work. Residents can also design their own electives in consultation with faculty. PGY-IV residents can structure the outpatient work of the fourth year to complement an elective experience, or to gain experience in a particular subspecialty area. Residents may elect to begin a two-year fellowship in child psychiatry in their fourth year. Arrangements can also be made to do fellow level work in the Forensic Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, or Psychopharmacology programs.

By the conclusion of the PGY-IV year, residents are independent practitioners with a mature approach to diagnosis, treatment selection, psychological and somatic therapies, and reading of the psychiatric literature. They are comfortable utilizing both psychodynamic and cognitive psychotherapy techniques with individuals, families, and groups, have learned administrative skills, and have pursued at least one area of interest in depth.