Mission, Aims, Goals and Objectives

Psychiatry Residency

Our mission is to train the next generation of psychiatrists to be outstanding clinicians, educators and researchers who are ethical, empathetic, culturally sensitive and able to find fulfillment in their careers in an environment that promotes personal well-being.

Program Aims

  • To produce competent, independent practicing psychiatrists who have the ability to lead interdisciplinary teams in all clinical settings
  • To produce psychiatrists that are competent in medication management and multiple types of psychotherapy
  • To prepare residents to be competitive applicants for fellowship and have the opportunity to improve the profession and their community through scholarship, education, advocacy and leadership
  • To train residents to have a basic understanding of quality improvement and patient safety
  • To produce residents with expertise in treating the variety of patient populations in our community with a particular understanding for the underserved
  • To develop socially well-adjusted residents through a focus on physician well-being so that as emotionally healthy physicians they will be more resilient and better able to deliver high quality care

Goals and Objectives

The overall goal of the program is to develop psychiatrists competent to practice independently in each of the competency areas detailed below.

Patient Care

Residents must be able to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate and effective for the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health.

Residents will develop competence in: interviewing and assessment skills, developing rapport with patients, performing all aspects of an evaluation, including eliciting a clear and accurate history, performing physical, neurological and mental status examinations and ordering appropriate diagnostic and psychological tests.

Residents will develop competence in formulating a diagnosis based on the data they have obtained, including evaluation of past records. They will be competent to make a thorough differential diagnosis and be able to plan further steps to clarify the diagnoses.

Residents will develop competence in creating an appropriate and comprehensive treatment plan for all diagnoses in the current diagnostic manual in the following treatment areas:

  • Use of pharmacological regimens, including the concurrent use of medications and psychotherapy
  • Understanding the indications and uses of electroconvulsive therapy
  • Individual supportive, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapies (both long-term and brief therapy), in addition to exposure to family, couples, group and other evidence-based psychotherapies
  • Psychiatric consultation to in a variety of medical and surgical settings
  • Providing care and treatment for the chronically mentally ill with appropriate psychopharmacologic, psychotherapeutic and psycho-social rehabilitation interventions
  • Participating in psychiatric administration to include leadership of interdisciplinary teams and a supervised experience in utilization review, quality assurance and performance improvement
  • Providing psychiatric treatment while collaborating and coordinating treatment with non-medical therapists
  • Recognizing and appropriately responding to family violence (child, partner and elderly physical, emotional and sexual abuse and neglect) and its effect on both victims and perpetrators

Medical Knowledge

Residents must demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences, as well as the application of this knowledge to patient care. Residents will develop and demonstrate knowledge in the following specific areas:

  • The major theoretical approaches to understanding the patient-doctor relationship
  • The biological, genetic, psychological, sociocultural, economic, ethnic, gender, religious/spiritual, sexual orientation and family factors that significantly influence physical and psychological development throughout the life cycle
  • The fundamental principles of the epidemiology, etiologies, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all major psychiatric disorders in the current standard diagnostic statistical manual, including the biological, psychological, sociocultural and iatrogenic factors that affect the prevention, incidence, prevalence and long-term course and treatment of psychiatric disorders and conditions
  • The diagnosis and treatment of neurologic disorders commonly encountered in psychiatric practice
  • The use, reliability and validity of the generally accepted diagnostic techniques, including physical examination of the patient, laboratory testing, imaging, neurophysiologic and neuropsychological testing and psychological testing
  • The use and interpretation of psychological testing
  • The history of psychiatry and its relationship to the evolution of medicine
  • The legal aspects of psychiatric practice
  • An understanding of American culture and subcultures
  • Use of case formulation that includes neurobiological, phenomenological, psychological and sociocultural issues involved in the diagnosis and management of cases
  • The ability to critically appraise and understand the relevant research literature and to apply research findings appropriately to clinical practice, including the concepts and process of evidenced-based clinical practice:
    • Residents and faculty will participate in journal club, research conferences, didactics and/or other activities that address critical appraisal of the literature and understanding of the research process
    • Residents will have research opportunities and the opportunity for development of research skills for residents interested in conducting research in psychiatry or related fields

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement

Residents must demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence and to continuously improve patient care based on constant self-evaluation and life-long learning. Residents are expected to develop and demonstrate skills and habits to be able to meet the following goals:

  • Identify strengths, deficiencies and limits in one’s knowledge and expertise
  • Set learning and improvement goals
  • Identify and perform appropriate learning activities
  • Systematically analyze practice using quality improvement methods and implement changes with the goal of practice improvement
  • Incorporate formative evaluation feedback into daily practice
  • Locate, appraise and assimilate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health problems
  • Use information technology to optimize learning
  • Participate in the education of patients, families, students, residents and other health professionals
  • Take primary responsibility for lifelong learning to improve knowledge, skills and practice performance

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

Residents must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families and health professionals. Residents are expected to:

  • Communicate effectively with patients, families and the public, as appropriate, across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
  • Communicate effectively with physicians, other health professionals and health related agencies
  • Work effectively as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group
  • Act in a consultative role to other physicians and health professionals
  • Maintain comprehensive, timely and legible medical records
  • Interview patients and family in an effective manner to facilitate accurate diagnosis and biological, psychological and social formulation


Residents must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles. Residents are expected to demonstrate:

  • Compassion, integrity and respect for others
  • Responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest
  • Respect for patient privacy and autonomy
  • Accountability to patients, society and the profession
  • Sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in gender, age, culture, race, religion, disabilities and sexual orientation
  • High standards of ethical behavior which include respect for patient privacy and autonomy, maintaining appropriate professional boundaries and understanding the nuances specific to psychiatric practice. Residents will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to the AMA Principles of Ethics with "Special Annotations for Psychiatry," as developed by the American Psychiatric Association

Systems-Based Practice

Residents must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care. Residents are expected to:

  • Work effectively in various health care delivery settings and systems relevant to their clinical specialty
  • Coordinate patient care within the health care system relevant to their clinical specialty
  • Incorporate considerations of cost awareness and risk-benefit analysis in patient and/or population-based care as appropriate
  • Advocate for quality patient care and optimal patient care systems
  • Work in interprofessional teams to enhance patient safety and improve patient care quality
  • Participate in identifying system errors and implementing potential systems solutions
  • Understand how types of medical practice and delivery systems differ from one another, including methods of controlling health care cost, assuring quality and allocating resources
  • Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care, including an understanding of the financing and regulation of psychiatric practice, as well as information about the structure of public and private organizations that influence mental health care
  • Advocate for quality patient care and assisting patients in dealing with system complexities, including disparity in mental health care
  • Work with health care managers and health care providers to assess, coordinate and improve health care, particularly as it relates to access to mental health care
  • Advocate for the promotion of mental health and the prevention of disease
  • Maintain a mechanism to ensure that charts are appropriately maintained and readily accessible for patient care and regular review for supervisory and educational purposes
  • Collaborate with psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers and other professional and paraprofessional mental health personnel in the treatment of patients
  • Maintain clinical records to demonstrate competence to:
    • Document an adequate history and perform mental status, physical and neurological examinations
    • Organize a comprehensive differential diagnosis and discussion of relevant psychological and sociocultural issues
    • Proceed with appropriate laboratory and other diagnostic procedures
    • Develop and implement an appropriate treatment plan followed by regular and relevant progress notes regarding both therapy and medication management
    • Prepare an adequate discharge summary and plan