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We intend to graduate residents who can do a comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation of a patient, identify the patient’s strengths, prescribe medications safely and effectively, conduct individual and family therapy in a helpful manner, work with community resources, and continue to improve their patient care skills for the rest of their professional lives.

As you progress through our program, you will work on goals in each of the six ACGME core competencies:

  1. Medical Knowledge
  2. Patient Care
  3. Practice Based Learning and Improvement
  4. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
  5. Professionalism
  6. Systems Based Practice

Medical Knowledge

  1. All residents will pass their licensing exams by the end of their first year of training
  2. All residents will score at or above the 50%ile on the Psychiatry Resident in-training exam beginning with the exam taken in the fall of their third year of training.
  3. All residents will pass their board certification exams within one year of graduation

Patient Care

  1. Conduct a diagnostic interview: establish rapport, assist the patient in telling his or her story, gather essential information, determine critical issues specific to each patient
  2. Assess biological factors associated with the patient’s condition including medical and neurobiological conditions, genetics, medications, substances, over-the-counter drugs, and lifestyle issues.
  3. Assess psychological factors including developmental issues, inborn temperament, past experiences, relationship patterns, traumas, losses, fears, defense mechanisms, coping strategies, hopes and wishes, and psychological strengths.
  4. Assess the interactions between the patient and the environment including family, friends, school, work, financial resources, community, culture, and the health care system
  5. Develop a differential diagnosis and prioritize the issues
  6. Form a therapeutic alliance with the patient. As needed, work cooperatively with the family and other treatment providers to develop a treatment plan.
  7. Choose medications appropriate to the patient’s medical and psychiatric conditions; monitor side effects, interactions, and efficacy for the patient’s target symptoms. Educate the patient, family, and other care providers about the medications.
  8. Recognize and identify emotions in both the patient and in oneself.
  9. Conduct the following types of psychotherapy: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, dialectical behavioral, supportive, behavior management, couples, family, and group. Select the appropriate form of therapy in consultation with the patient.
  10. Collaborate with others in the community such as physicians, community mental health workers, vocational rehabilitation services, schools, self-help groups, twelve-step groups, and legislators to assist the patient in reaching his or her goals.
  11. Recognize medical conditions affecting the patient and assist the patient in securing appropriate care.
  12. Work effectively in a variety of settings including emergency rooms, inpatient and outpatient centers, consult services, schools, and disaster zones.
  13. Work effectively with patients with many different conditions including psychotic, mood, anxiety, developmental, personality, and adjustment disorders; substance abuse, and behavior problems.
  14. Manage substance abuse problems across the entire spectrum of care including inpatient detoxification and treatment and outpatient dual diagnosis care.

Practice Based Learning and Improvement

Residents will:

  1. Identify situations where they must look something up right away, and then look it up
  2. Identify situations where they need to get a consult, and then get one.
  3. Every day, reflect on their patient care experiences, determine what they need to learn more about and start learning it.
  4. Every day, reflect on their patient care experiences, figure out when they need to change how they are doing things, and then work on making the needed changes.
  5. Learn from a wide variety of resources including large-scale well-designed clinical studies, case reports, textbooks, professional list-servs, and the advice of experienced colleagues.
  6. Complete a research project.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  1. Listen to and understand the viewpoints of the patient and others involved in the patient’s life and medical care.
  2. Communicate effectively with patients, families, and colleagues of different ages, cognitive abilities, cultures, and skills.
  3. Provide information to patients and others in ways that they will understand and remember.


  1. Honesty, integrity, a strong desire to help others, and respect for all people.
  2. Manage and document patient care in an organized, reliable, and effective manner.
  3. Seek and accept feedback
  4. Admit errors
  5. Be a helpful and inspiring teammate
  6. Respect patient privacy and autonomy
  7. Take ownership and follow through on all patient care responsibilities
  8. Follow the Principles of Medical Ethics as defined by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.

Systems Based Practice

  1. Know the resources available to the patient within the medical system and within the community.
  2. Practice cost-effective patient care
  3. Advocate for quality patient care
  4. Assist patients in dealing with complex systems
  5. Work to improve the patient’s experience within the healthcare system
  6. Seek ways to improve overall patient outcomes within a system of care
  7. Be available to the community as a resource