Unique Educational Opportunities

Our program currently offers seven certificate programs which serve as an optional adjunct to the regular curriculum for residents interested in furthering their expertise in specific areas of interest. Each program has mentorship, didactic, experiential, and scholarship components. Details of each certificate program are outlined below.

Bioethics Certificate

Faculty Champion: Dominic Sisti 
The Bioethics certificate program provides interested residents with opportunities to engage in scholarly work in behavioral health care ethics. Specific topics could include the ethics of re-categorization of mental disorders, capacity and involuntary treatment, research involving mentally ill participants, confidentiality and the duty to warn and protect, and ethical issues related to correctional and forensic psychiatry. Trainees need not have a background in applied ethics or biomedical ethics.

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Community Psychiatry Certificate

Faculty Champion: Michelle Joy
The Public/Community/Social Psychiatry certificate program provides opportunities for mentorship and advanced training in the provision of mental health care to underserved populations including those with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI), co-occurring addictions, immigrant and international populations, the LGBTQIA population and global mental health. Residents will also learn about social determinants of mental health, systems of community care, as well as psychiatric leadership and advocacy roles. Participation in monthly meetings fosters the development of a community of residents, fellows, faculty and community leaders that share a passion for this work.

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Cultural Psychiatry Certificate

Faculty Champions: Yu-Heng Guo, Wanjiku Njoroge, Puneet Sahota
The Cultural Psychiatry certificate program provides opportunities for mentorship and focused training in the provision of culturally sensitive mental health care to diverse populations with consideration of ethnic, racial, gender and sexual identity issues including discrimination and stigma within psychiatry and historically. Residents will also learn to recognize culture’s transferential and countertransferential influence on the therapeutic relationship, how to conceptualize a cultural formulation, the importance of social determinants of health and considerations for mental health disparities.

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Medical Education Certificate

Faculty Champion: Claudia Baldassano
The Medical Education certificate program allows residents to further expand their knowledge of new developments, research, and trends in medical education and put those skills into practice through contribution to the psychiatry residency curriculum and active teaching opportunities with residents and medical students.

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Psychotherapy Certificate

Faculty Champion: Kristin Leight
The psychotherapy certificate program provides an experience for psychiatry residents interested in deepening and broadening their understanding and technical proficiency in psychotherapy. The track provides an opportunity to supplement the basic required curriculum and focuses on developing further understanding and appreciation of the theory and practice of the full range of available psychotherapies. This is achieved by participation in additional psychotherapy didactics, increased psychotherapy case load, intensive study and practice of psychotherapies in addition to CBT and psychodynamic psychotherapies, helping teach psychotherapy didactics to junior residents, and creation of a psychotherapy-related scholarly project.

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Research Certificate

Faculty Champion: Matt Kayser
Residents who participate in the research certificate program will be paired with a primary research mentor, who may be from psychiatry or another department. The resident will utilize elective time for research and complete an immersive research experience. They will also help lead residency Brain Forum lectures and produce a scholarly project including a presentation at a professional meeting or a contribution to a publication.
All residents are invited to participate in the Research Certificate regardless of M.D./Ph.D. status and previous research experience. Inquiries regarding the appropriateness of the Research Certificate for an individual resident’s career goals are encouraged.
For applicants with an extensive research background who are seeking a more intensive research experience, see the Research Track (EPSP) section below.

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Wellness Certificate

Faculty champions: Kristin Leight and Margot O’Donnell
The Wellness certificate program provides interested residents the opportunity to expand their knowledge of wellness-related disciplines, theories and interventions. This is achieved by participation in educational events, wellness electives, contribution to wellness curriculum, planning of wellness events, and completion of a wellness-related scholarly project. Areas of focus are individualized to the resident’s interests and could include (but are not limited to) meditation/mindfulness practices, compassion practices, positive psychology, movement-based practices, integrative psychiatry, burnout prevention and stress reduction, and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.

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The following tracks allow residents to participate in an alternative longitudinal curriculum to pursue interests in a specific area.

Child Track

The University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychiatry enjoys a close affiliation with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals and home to world-renowned clinical faculty. Residents interested in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry are offered the opportunity for exposure to the specialty as early as the PGY-1 year.
In the PGY-1 year, interested residents can spend one month on the inpatient Adolescent Medicine Service at CHOP (where approximately half of the patients have a significant psychiatric or behavioral health issue, including eating disorders, pain syndromes, and first-episode psychosis); one month in the pediatric emergency room at CHOP; and one month on the pediatric neurology consult service at CHOP.
In the PGY-2 year, all residents rotate through the psychiatry consult liaison service for children hospitalized at CHOP. While there, residents receive teaching and supervision from both attendings and child and adolescent psychiatry fellows. PGY-2 residents can also rotate through either the CHOP Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic or through the Child and Family Outpatient Services at the Hall Mercer Community Mental Health Center.
In the PGY-3 year, residents expand upon their PGY-2 exposure by spending one afternoon clinic per week at either Hall Mercer Community Mental Health Center or CHOP Outpatient Clinic. Residents are encouraged to have long-term pediatric psychotherapy cases and are provided with supervision from faculty members from both Penn and CHOP. During the PGY-4 year, residents can continue seeing their child and adolescent therapy cases and also begin to see family therapy cases (with supervision from the Penn Center for Couples and Adult Families).
Child and Adolescent didactics take place throughout residency training, and include normal child development, child psychopathology, pediatric psychopharmacology, family systems, the approach to the adolescent, and psychotherapy. Research opportunities at both Penn and CHOP are available to general psychiatry residents interested in child and adolescent psychiatry research.
Penn residents can choose to either fast-track into a child and adolescent program after the PGY-3 year or complete the four year general residency and then apply to fellowship.
Click here to learn more about Child & Adolescent Psychiatry training at CHOP.

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Research Track (EPSP)

Educating Physician Scientists in Psychiatry (EPSP) is an NIMH-funded R25 research track for applicants with an extensive research background and dedication to a future psychiatric research career. EPSP integrates substantial protected research time into residency training along with comprehensive mentorship and career development programs. For more information, see Research

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Other unique educational opportunities available at Penn:

Healthcare Leadership in Quality Residency Track

This two-year interdisciplinary track, which is supported by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, will prepare the interested resident to be a leader in quality improvement and patient safety. The track includes didactic, leadership development, and mentorship components. At the end of the second year, a capstone project will be completed and presented by the resident, and findings from this project should be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Residents who successfully complete all components of the track are awarded a certificate of Quality and Safety Leadership from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
More information can be found here.

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Post Pediatric Portal Psychiatry Program

Penn Psychiatry, through collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program, is one of only a few Post Pediatric Portal Psychiatry (PPPP) programs in the country. The PPPP program is a 3-year combined program in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry for physicians who have already completed a pediatrics residency and are seeking further training in psychiatry. Graduates of the program are board eligible in General Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
More information on the Post Pediatric Portal Psychiatry Program can be found here.

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