Curriculum

Curriculum

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A COMPREHENSIVE PSYCHIATRY RESIDENCY PROGRAM

The Virginia Tech Carilion Psychiatry Residency trains residents to provide high quality, comprehensive care in a variety of settings. Graduates of the program are thoroughly grounded in inpatient, outpatient, and consultative psychiatry, and are uniquely trained in the principles of primary care psychiatry.

First Year

The first year adheres to the axiom that an excellent psychiatrist must first be an excellent physician. The resident's rotations will include:

  • Medicine - four months (one month Emergency Medicine and three months primary care medicine)
  • Neurology - two months (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Adult Psychiatry - six months (divided between Emergency Psychiatry, Acute Inpatient Psychiatry)
  • Evidence Based Medicine - one month (resident establishes a clinical research interest and mentor)

Residents follow outpatients in the Psychiatry Primary Care Clinic (PPCT) at the VAMC (one afternoon every other week). By the end of the first year, residents will have foundational knowledge in medicine and neurology, methods of psychiatric assessment, an interdisciplinary approach and different methods of psychiatric treatment.

The didactic series features our own faculty-written textbook, "Essential Psychopathology & Its Treatment" (third edition, edited by Drs. Jerrold Maxmen, Nicholas Ward and Mark Kilgus).

Second Year

Second-year residents continue to build on the developed capacities and experience achieved in the first year. Residents have a diverse exposure on inpatient (acute adult, substance abuse, geriatric and child and adolescent), emergency and consultation liaison services.

They expand their involvement in the psychiatry primary care clinic (PPCT) to one afternoon each week. Protected time is kept aside for didactic teaching and experiential training seminars covering a broad range of topics including psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral (and other psychotherapeutic techniques), and psychopharmacology.

By the end of this year the resident will have achieved competency in thorough psychiatric assessments, multimodal treatment of the seriously mentally ill and a comprehensive understanding of the biopsychosocial approach to mental illnesses. Residents are encouraged to strengthen teamwork abilities and assume leadership roles during their inpatient rotations. Continuation of PGY1 research interests are supported.

Third Year

The third year is entirely devoted to office-based psychiatric care. Our residents attain mastery of skills of psychiatric assessments and treatments in complex outpatient settings. Experience is provided in various treatment modalities including medication management, case management, short and long-term psychotherapies, group therapy and couples therapy.

Protected didactic time allows residents exposure to a broad range of topics in psychiatry, and expanding their training in psychotherapeutic theories and techniques. Psychiatry residents are assigned to a teaching clinic for one half-day per week where they hone their teaching skills as they direct a medical student teaching service.

During this year residents are given more responsibility and autonomy although a faculty member remains available at all times for trainee supervision.

Fourth Year

Senior residents select from an extensive menu of elective and research experiences. This year gives an opportunity to the resident to integrate all that has been learned in preceding years.

For four months of the year, the resident will serve as the "junior" attending on several inpatient psychiatric services. Two months of this time is spent in managing an academic service while the other two months are spent on a more clinically oriented inpatient service. One half-day per week of didactic seminars prepares residents in special areas of psychiatry, advanced psychopharmacology and the transition to practice.

Psychiatry residents in their final year are encouraged to independently participate in medical student and junior resident teaching. Residents also continue to pursue research interests and are encouraged to present at least one academic product for publication in conjunction with faculty members.

Individual mentoring about career options and opportunities are a central theme in the senior year.