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Psychiatry Residency 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; Integrated Care; 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 7 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. Three to four 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 can opt to spend one day per week treating outpatients with serious and persistent mental illnesses at an urban mental health center (Community Healthlink, Brockton Multi Service Center), adult neurodevelopmental disorders (Fitchburg DDS), or focus on a mix of mental illnesses including PTSD in returning veterans at VA Clinics in Worcester or Springfield.  Supervision at our CMHC's is by core UMass teaching faculty. Options include a unique experience on one of our Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACT). PGY-IV residents may elect to continue to spend one half to one day per week at their community mental health center and often find this to be a pathway for post-graduate positions. Once a month residents participate in an Integrated Care clinic, collaborating with family physicians at either the Hahnemann or Barre Medical Campus. Residents treat one child patient and at least 6 adult patients in long-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 (psychodynamic, cognitive, family, and group psychotherapies), child psychiatry, transition to practice and administrative psychiatry.  All residents join together for the weekly Biological Psychiatry Seminar and the weekly Case Conference. 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. Residents regularly present at a variety of case conferences. PGY-IV residents are encouraged to undertake an academic project (literature review, paper, research, grand rounds presentation, etc.) in collaboration with a faculty member. Quality Improvement projects may be either combined with or undertaken in parallel to these academic projects.  Chief residencies are available in inpatient psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine/emergency mental health, outpatient psychiatry, psychopharmacology, neuropsychiatry 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, forensic psychiatry, mental health administration, community psychiatry, neuromodulation, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychiatric research, women's mental health, addiction psychiatry, psychiatry of the deaf. 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, Addiction Psychiatry 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 robust experience in neuropsychiatry; and have learned administrative skills, taught in public fora, and have pursued at least one area of interest in depth.