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Psychiatry Residency Curriculum

Post Graduate Year I & II

The PGY-I and II years are designed to satisfy all inpatient psychiatry requirements, begin outpatient psychotherapy work, and provide a solid foundation for advanced psychiatry training, while allowing the resident to sample the psychiatric specialties and choose an additional elective. The PGY-II year is specially designed to allow residents transferring from other fields to complete their inpatient, consultation, and specialty requirements. The PGY-I and II years are divided into 13 four week blocks each.

In the PGY-I year, emphasis is placed on the complex interactions of psychiatric symptoms with medical, surgical, and neurologic conditions. By year's end, residents are competent to assess, diagnose, and manage acute psychiatric and medical situations. PGY-I residents spend 5 blocks in medicine or pediatrics, 3 blocks in neurology, and 5 blocks in psychiatry. The neurology experience includes inpatient, consultation, and neuropsychiatry (neurologic evaluation of psychiatric patients) blocks. The psychiatry experience includes emergency psychiatry, addiction psychiatry consultation service, inpatient psychiatry, and geriatric psychiatry.  The PGY-1 year is tailored for the adult psychiatry track, the integrated adult/child psychiatry track, or the neuropsychiatry track, with rotations specially chosen to best prepare residents for their chosen specialty goal.

PGY-II trainees become familiar with differential diagnosis, crisis management, psychiatric formulation, and treatment selection, and develop skills in critical review of the literature. Time is divided among inpatient and consultation-related psychiatric services, while beginning outpatient psychotherapy training under supervision. The trainee's inpatient psychiatry experience is broadened and deepened, with 4 blocks either on the UMass general hospital inpatient unit, or at a private psychiatric hospital. The trainee gains experience with addiction psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, continuing (long-term) inpatient care, neuromodulation (ECT, and TMS), psychosomatic medicine and emergency psychiatry. Residents choose a 1-block "selective" experience on any of the PGY-I and II teaching services or on one of the many other UMass clinical services (deaf unit, adolescent unit, or specialty consult clinics). The unique design of the UMass system allows the resident to be part of their patients' care from crisis intervention through admission, continuing inpatient care, partial hospitalization and outpatient treatment. The PGY-II resident becomes adept at the assessment and treatment of psychiatric problems in medical and surgical patients, and learns negotiation, liaison, and management skills important in work with non-psychiatric health professionals.

PGY-I and PGY-II residents have 8 hours per week of protected didactic time, plus supervision. An intensive summer program is designed to give incoming residents the tools they need to get started. The core curriculum includes courses in psychotherapy, neuropsychiatry and clinical neuroscience, psychopharmacology, biological psychiatry, a residency-wide weekly case conference, and other experiences. Interns are always on-call with senior residents. All psychiatry teaching services are designed to maximize the training to service ratio. Many patients are treated directly by attendings to protect time for resident learning.

Psychotherapy training begins in the PGY-II year with a year-long seminar, weekly supervision in long-term outpatient psychodynamic psychotherapy of two outpatients whom the resident may continue treating for the duration of training, as appropriate. UMass places a priority on long-term psychotherapy training and takes steps to assure the resident's experience regardless of marketplace pressures.