Residency Training in General Psychiatry

Harvard Psychiatry Residents

The HMS Department of Psychiatry coordinates the psychiatric resources of seven major teaching institutions dedicated to quality clinical services, innovative research, excellent medical student education and comprehensive training. Its five psychiatric residencies are among the most respected programs in the United States, attracting the nation's top applicants.

Graduates of Harvard Psychiatry training programs are fully equipped for the practice of modern psychiatry integrating the most venerable traditional modalities with state-of-the-art treatment strategies.

The goals of adult psychiatric training encompass the comprehensive list of requirements delineated by the Psychiatry Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Our training programs are committed to training psychiatric residents who:

  • are competent in the early identification of psychiatric disorders in all age groups, their differential diagnoses by clinical and laboratory methods, and their treatment by the full range of available psychological, biological, behavioral and social techniques;
  • are sophisticated about the major theories and viewpoints in psychiatry; understand the psychological, social, economic, ethnic, family and biological factors that influence development as well as psychiatric illnesses and treatments; 
  • have a strong sense of responsibility and respect for clients, a commitment to high ethical standards and to one's continuing professional development, and a commitment to inclusion of clients in treatment planning;
  • can function in a sophisticated manner in the changing health care environment which emphasizes cost effectiveness of care; and
  • have skills in collaborating, teaching and supervising other personnel such as providers of mental health, medical, forensic and social services in a variety of community and institutional settings.

Cambridge Health Alliance Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program
Cambridge Health Alliance ResidencyAt the Cambridge Health Alliance Adult Psychiatry Residency, we emphasize a bio-psycho-social-cultural approach to the understanding of mental illness. We value psychotherapy and we have a deep and enduring commitment to teaching psychodynamic formulation and dynamic psychotherapy. Residents learn about psychodynamic principles through didactics and close supervision throughout the residency. Our curriculum also includes training in the use of major psychotherapies including cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavioral, time-limited as well as long -term dynamic and supportive therapies, group therapy, and family systems therapy.

The curriculum also has a strong biological psychiatry component that includes neuroscience, neuropsychiatry, and the principles and practice of psychopharmacology. Psychopharmacology is taught throughout the four-year residency, as well as in each clinical rotation where population specific and illness specific nuances of psychopharmacologic treatment are studied. Training includes integrating psychopharmacology into psychotherapeutic treatment as well as managing the psychopharmacologic treatment of patients seen by other non-medical therapists.

A particular strength of our program is the patient population, which ranges from psychotic to reactive or neurotic and represents a wide range of ages, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds. Of equal importance, the training takes place within a comprehensive community mental health system. Residents work in a variety of settings, including inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, emergency service and outreach, home visits, walk-in clinic, day treatment, social club, and linguistic minority clinics.

This comprehensive four year training program has 28-32 residents. The department serves as a popular training site for Harvard Medical students and offers specialized chief residency positions and a two-year psychotherapy fellowship. Our Adult program is certified and in good standing with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Psychiatry Residency Training Program
BIDMC Class of 2022The BIDMC Harvard Psychiatry Residency Program is a collaborative and supportive postgraduate medical education program designed to train physicians to become leaders in the field of psychiatry. The program uses an apprentice-style model, and combines the strengths of partnering institutions to graduate sophisticated, patient-focused, professional psychiatrists knowledgeable in all areas of psychopathology, pharmacology, psychotherapy, and the neurosciences.

Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Residency Program
BWH residentsThe BWH/HMS Psychiatry Residency Program provides extensive core clinical training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with its leading medical psychiatry, neuropsychiatry and specialty psychiatry programs, and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, with its inpatient unit, partial hospital and full range of addiction programs.  Our residents also have clinical experiences at McLean Hospital specialty programs, Boston Children’s Hospital child-adolescent psychiatry programs, Dana Farber Cancer Institute psychooncology program, and Massachusetts Mental Health Center programs for the chronically, persistently mentally ill. We partner closely with our Brigham Internal Medicine colleagues to provide a core foundation of medical training, as well as integrating behavioral health into primary care medical homes and specialty programs through collaborative care initiatives.  Extensive, mentored and facilitated research opportunities draw upon the depth and breadth of programs and resources at The Brigham, Harvard Medical School, The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Harvard School of Public Health, and beyond.

Massachusetts General Hospital / McLean Hospital Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program
MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry ResidencyThe MGH/McLean Adult Residency Training Program in Psychiatry has been designed to prepare resident physicians for the practice of psychiatry in the 21st century. The program emphasizes fundamental medical knowledge based on advances in clinical science and the growing contributions of basic and applied neurosciences.

The core of each resident’s education is extraordinarily rich clinical experience through all the years of training. Each resident diagnoses and treats a broad range of patients along a continuum of care, and within a variety of treatment settings. Residents learn the various roles of the modern psychiatrist – primary clinician, consultant, team-leader, and therapist – with direct and skilled supervision. Clinical work and intensive supervision are complemented by a comprehensive curriculum of didactic seminars, rounds, and case conferences.

While there is a core of experience and information with which all psychiatrists should be familiar, residents also need individualized experiences to meet their needs and interests. Therefore, the training program encourages elective opportunities in all years of training, with an unusually broad range of opportunities by the PGY-4 year, when all residents design their own individualized curriculum. There are readily available programs in Community Psychiatry, Global Psychiatry, Law and Psychiatry, Clinical Research, Mind Body Medicine, Medical Education, and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, to name just a few.

Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Training Program
Harvard South Shore Psychiatry ResidencyThe Harvard South Shore Psychiatry Residency Training Program (HSS) prepares residents for highly rewarding careers in psychiatry. Our program philosophy is that graduating physicians need strong training not only in the fundamentals of psychiatry, psychotherapy, and pharmacology, but also in research literacy, teaching skills, and leadership development. Across the four years of residency, residents’ aptitude in each of these domains builds significantly. This five-dimension approach sets us apart from other training programs as we have strong programs in each. The PG IV year consists solely of electives, enabling each resident to define his or her own academic curriculum.

Our program combines the stable and expanding financial sponsorship by the VA Boston Healthcare System with diverse training at Harvard-affiliated sites to prepare residents for careers in any healthcare setting. HSS is a medium sized program (8 residents per year), which optimizes personal career development.

Rotations to other metro-Boston Harvard teaching hospitals and to Harvard affiliated state and federal facilities on Boston's south shore, provide rich and varied experiences as the patients at each facility have their own cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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