Psychiatry and
Behavioral Sciences

Education

Clinical Rotations

Our four-year clinical curriculum gives residents the opportunity to rotate on inpatient, residential and outpatient services in multiple settings, including a university hospital, a VA health care system, a county hospital, a managed care consortium, and a university student health center.  Residents participate in an extensive system of individual and group supervision, dedicated case conferences, and didactics, in addition to being integral parts of the varied, often multidisciplinary, patient care teams.

The PGY-1 year is designed to foster residents’ identity as physicians and to build a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of common medical, neurologic, and psychiatric disorders.

In the PGY-2 year, residents develop competency in managing complex psychiatric disorders and providing expert consultation to other health care providers, primarily within the inpatient arena.

As PGY-3s, residents focus on psychiatric ambulatory care, developing knowledge and skills in both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology for the treatment of patients in a variety of outpatient settings.

Finally, the PGY-4 year allows an increased amount of flexibility for residents to pursue more advanced training in areas of particular interest, helping to optimally prepare them for life after residency.

Click on the ‘Clinical Rotations’ link above for more details.

Basic Rotation Structure

Year 1

4
Months

2
Months

3
Months

1
Month

1
Month

1
Month

Internal Medicine

Neurology

Inpatient
Psychiatry

ER
Psych

Addiction

Night
Float

 



Year 2

4
Months

2
Months

2
Months

2
Months

1
Month

1
Month

Inpatient
Psychiatry

Geriatric
Psychiatry

Consult-Liaison
Psychiatry

Scholarly
Concentration

Selective

Night
Float

0.5 day per week Outpatient Psychiatry (long-term psychodynamic therapy cases)

Year 3

12 Months

Full-time Outpatient Psychiatry
(includes ongoing psychotherapy cases, ~20% Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

0.5 day per week Scholarly Concentration for 6 months

Year 4 

6 Months

6 Months

Selective 50%
Scholarly Concentration 50%

Selectives

0.5 day per week Outpatient Psychiatry (long-term psychodynamic cases)
Forensic Psychiatry Experience (1 day)

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Scholarly Concentration

- PGY 2 – Full time, 2 4-week blocks, during which residents are on back-up to clinical services
- PGY3 – 25% time for 6 months
- PGY 4 – 50% time for 6 months

We choose an area of clinical interest, ranging broadly by demographics (e.g., child and adolescent, immigrants and refugees, international), diagnosis (e.g., sleep disorders, PTSD, psychotic disorders), and treatment modality (e.g., medications, various psychotherapeutic techniques). Alternatively, we may select a research area of interest with an appropriate mentor for close supervision and educational support. All concentrations require the development of clear goals and objectives with appropriate supervision by a mentor, to be approved by the Program Director. We have individual supervision weekly with their mentor(s). Group supervision for project development occurs within Thursday afternoon course time in the PGY 1, 2, and 4 years.

A proposal including topic, faculty sponsor, and goals and objectives for each block of scholarly concentration time is due to the Office of Residency Training Director four weeks prior to the start of the rotation. Topic areas have included pharmacotherapy research, developing assessments, global health, education, neuroscience, psychotherapy research, community psychiatry.

Coming soon: Sample proposal
Coming soon: Non-comprehensive list of mentors (i.e., people who have expressed interest in sponsoring a scholarly concentration

Didactics

Residents attend Grand Rounds and formal didactic instruction weekly on Thursday afternoons when they are excused from clinical duties. The didactic and clinical curricula provide residents with a thorough and well-balanced presentation of the fundamentals and theories of psychiatric illnesses, clinical decision-making, and therapeutic modalities, as well as ethical, cultural, legal and systems-based understanding of mental health issues.

In addition, residents also participate in individual and group supervision in association with their long-term psychotherapy patients, where they learn to apply theoretical concepts outlined during Thursday didactics to their clinical casework. Regularly scheduled rounds on the inpatient wards and outpatient clinic supervision and case conferences are also considered an essential part of the learning process.

Click on the ‘Didactics’ link above for more detail.

Call Duties

During their first three years, residents are required to take call at the Palo Alto VA or at Stanford Hospital, in decreasing amounts over time. When on-call, the resident has three clinical responsibilities: 1) to evaluate all psychiatric patients in the emergency room and if needed admit them to the inpatient units, 2) to respond to any urgent psychiatric consults called in by another medical service, and 3) to respond to any urgent issues on the inpatient units.

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