Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Residency Training Program

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The Department of Psychiatry's extensive programs are a respected and integral part of this leading academic health system. With outstanding faculty and residents in all fields of medicine and psychiatry, you will find yourself immersed in the best of modern medicine and health care, with ample opportunities for collaboration with physicians, scholars, and scientists in many other fields.

First Year

The first year of training combines rotations in internal medicine and neurology, with inpatient and emergency psychiatry.

Interns rotate through clinical sites including:

  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP)
  • Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH)
  • Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC)
  • Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania (optional)

Dedicated emergency psychiatry training is provided at the Psychiatric Emergency Evaluation Center (PEEC) at HUP and the Hall Mercer Crisis Response Center (CRC) at PAH. Our residents will likely also rotate through the VA Emergency Service beginning June, 2011.

The varied clinical sites, including a large tertiary referral center, VA hospital, and smaller community hospital, allow interns to learn and provide care to the varied populations at these four facilities.

Second Year

The second year builds on this strong foundation with additional inpatient psychiatry on specialized mood, geriatric, and psychotic disorder services at PAH, as well as general inpatient psychiatry at the Philadelphia VAMC.

Psychosomatic Medicine (Consultation/Liaison Psychiatry) is taught at both HUP and the VAMC.

The child and adolescent rotation is based at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Hall-Mercer Community Mental Health Center at PAH.

Dedicated substance abuse training is provided at the VAMC with supervision by faculty from the Treatment Research Center, a National Center of Excellence in Addiction.

Residents begin their first outpatient psychotherapy case in the spring of this year, though they may begin earlier in second year if they choose.

Lastly, a second year night float rotation eliminates the need for weeknight call and improves residents' education and quality of life.

Third Year

The emphasis of the third year is on ambulatory psychiatry in a variety of settings. The core psychopharmacology and psychotherapy components are the General Ambulatory Practice (GAP) and Residents' Psychotherapy Practice (RPP). In addition, residents see patients in the outpatient substance abuse treatment clinic at the VAMC, one of two community psychiatry settings, the outpatient child clinic at CHOP, and a supervised assessment clinic.

In the GAP general and specialty clinics (including Treatment-Resistant Depression, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, and Neuropsychiatry), residents work under the supervision of faculty with clinical and research expertise in a given field. The RPP allows residents to see patients for weekly psychotherapy under the supervision of Penn's extensive clinical faculty who have a depth of expertise in a wide variety of psychotherapy modalities. Residents assume primary responsibility for their patients and provide longitudinal care in a warm and inviting group practice. Along with individual supervision and didactic work, one half-day per week is available for elective time.

Residents treat patients with a wide range of diagnoses, socioeconomic backgrounds, and third-party payors, including members of the very large university community.

Supervised treatment modalities include short- and long-term psychotherapies; psychopharmacology assessment and medical management; and group, couples, and family therapy.

Fourth Year

In the fourth year, each resident -- under the guidance of the Program Directors and relevant faculty -- develops a unique educational experience that includes continued GAP and RPP clinical work, as well as intensive senior electives in areas relevant to his or her career direction. The resources of the entire department, and indeed the university, are available in the areas of clinical care, research and administration.

Residents have two days per week available for elective experiences. A Senior Teaching Requirement, focusing on the development of educational skills, a one month Junior Attendingship, and an Academic Project, round out the year.

The Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT rotation) provides training in, and satisfies the accreditation criteria for, the provision of ECT after residency. Additional experiences in neuromodulation and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) are available.


University of Pennsylvania Medical School campus