Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine

Resident Perspectives


Sahar Alee Koloukani, M.D.

I matched into my number one choice. This program is truly unique and I noticed it from day one during the initial interview. The interview is organized in a way that is very respectful toward applicants as physicians and potential future colleagues. Each interview gives you the chance to talk about you, your ideas, and your achievements in a very respectful, stress free environment. One can notice the friendly demeanor of all the residents with each other. They are wonderfully brilliant physicians and human beings that are willing to go the extra mile to help you.

I am at the early stages of being a PGY-1 and I am very lucky to be in a program that has residents and attendings how have a willingness to teach, respect, and support you in so many ways. The size of the program is just right in that we have a profound clinical experience to share with many residents while also having one to one interactions with our personal mentors and supervisors. I believe this is an essential part of a residency program that is usually overlooked in many other programs. Here you will find attendings with different interests, a strong educational curriculum, and many opportunities to do research as well as develop skills as a future psychiatrist. This program provides me with the opportunity to become an excellent physician with a strong educational background who is also loving and compassionate with patients. I highly recommend the Virginia Tech Carilion psychiatry residency program as it is truly a unique place to be.

Julian Lagoy, M.D.

The Virginia Tech Carilion psychiatry residency program was the #1 choice on my rank list. When I found out I matched here it was a dream come true. From the first minute I arrived to interview here I knew that this was the perfect place for me. The people in this program are what make it unique. The entire faculty love to teach and take pride in seeing you grow as a resident. Once an attending even asked me if he could help write some of my notes since he thought I needed time to study for Step 3. The program also encourages us to attend and present at national conferences by allowing for extra vacation days and paying for us to attend. There are very few other programs that value their residents' education and well being like this one. No wonder the program has an outstanding board pass rate of 100%.

Not only is the faculty excellent, but also the other residents in the program are some of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever worked with. The senior residents are approachable and friendly. I have never hesitated to ask them a question. The other residents have even offered to help me outside of work, such as finding an apartment or opening a bank account. I am very grateful and happy to be at Virginia Tech Carilion for my psychiatry residency.

Anita Joseph, D.O.

When Dr. Kablinger, the residency program director, called me personally to invite me for an interview, I knew right away that this program was unique. I remember feeling honored then, and I continue to feel honored to be a psychiatry resident at Carilion Clinic. My transition from medical student to intern was almost seamless thanks to the great support of the psychiatry faculty and staff. I can tell you firsthand that the program is innovative and open to new ideas - my intern class helped create a new rotation to make the call system more manageable and educational! In allowing new ideas to come about, this program has been making residents who train at Carilion into leaders, educators, and empathetic attending physicians. Medical students who rotate through for their third year rotation often come back again as fourth years because they enjoyed their rotation so much. In my humble opinion this has a lot to do with my fellow residents and wonderful attendings who make the atmosphere not only educational but welcoming. 

The beautiful backdrop of the mountains, opportunities to hike, canoe, or even read a book in a cozy nook at the beautiful South County Library have been additional blessings. As I move from one year to another, new challenges present themselves as expected, but I always feel the support and strength to tackle them - a testament to how well the residency program has been fostering my education.

So for all the medical students browsing on our website right now: I encourage you to come on out and see for yourself how supportive, innovative, and most importantly welcoming our psychiatry residency program at Carilion Clinic is.

Maureen Murphy-Ryan, M.D.

As a transfer student from Washington University in St. Louis, I was both excited and nervous about matching at Virginia Tech Carilion. It was my top choice during my transfer application because of the positive, nurturing environment I saw during my interview, the proximity in driving distance to my hometown, and its similarity to the Mayo Clinic, my medical school alma mater, in the focus on the primacy of patient care and the impact of beauty on healing in hospital settings. Apparently we have one of the most beautiful hospitals in America according to some rankings - something about how it's nestled right at the foot of the mountains...

Another factor I took into serious account was how the faculty are extremely responsive to resident concerns and the program is evolving each year based on our feedback. Two recent changes include altering the balance of time between the Salem VA and the Carilion Clinic locations and changing from a Q4 call to a night float system, which were designed to allow a wider diversity of clinical practice opportunities and better work-life balance. After 3 months here I can definitely appreciate both alterations.

Coming from another academically rigorous program, I have been especially impressed with the focus on teaching and support of resident research interests. Not only do the faculty take time to explain both mind and brain-based mechanisms of illness and treatments we see on our rotations, but self-study is encouraged. Residents are even given time each week in addition to our regular classes to attend peer-taught courses on high-yield board exam material. On the research end, I recently had the opportunity to write up three fascinating case reports with one of my best friends in the residency and a local medical student as abstracts for an upcoming Psychiatric Society of Virginia research meeting. Considering the major thing I was nervous about coming to Virginia Tech Carilion was fitting in as a transfer student, having colleagues interested in both writing papers and having BBQ's outside of work together has been a real blessing.

People keep telling me wait a while, see how you feel after a few night shifts, etc., but I don't think the Emerald Glasses are actually going to come off. I am so grateful for the opportunity to complete my residency education at Virginia Tech Carilion and I look forward to meeting all of our interviewees and future resident colleagues!

Ali Jazi, M.D.

I just started my third year of residency at Virginia Tech Carilion a few months ago. I would say that my experience in this program has been very rewarding in my educational life. The attending staff and upper level residents are very supportive and helpful. Everybody is trying to help you work efficiently and at the same time learn as much as possible. The didactics cover all you need to know in order to be a resident and eventually an attending. The workload is very reasonable. We have a very good night float call system. Additionally, it helps residents not to miss any of the didactics on post call days and to have a more flexible personal life. I am confident that the Virginia Tech Carilion psychiatry residency program is providing me all I need to be a successful academic research psychiatrist.