Psychiatry Residency Program Curriculum
The four-year curriculum in Psychiatry at Bergen Regional Medical Center is designed to fulfill appropriate educational goals for each phase of training and to meet all requirements of the ACGME.
The residents complete a four month Internal Medicine rotation at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey, under the direct supervision of Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Training Program. They complete a two month equivalent neurology rotation and six month inpatient psychiatry rotations at Bergen Regional Medical Center.
The second year of training marks the entry into full-time psychiatric education. Goals of the experience are to learn the fundamentals of diagnosis and therapeutics in hospitalized patients and to become familiar with the continuum of care for psychiatric patients. Clinical rotations constitute hospital-based services, including four months of Emergency Psychiatry, two months of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry, and six months of Inpatient Psychiatry—including Geriatric Psychiatry, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, and Partial Hospitalization programs.
This year is devoted to learning to manage a selected number of outpatients on a private practice model. The residents spend the entire year in our outpatient center and learn to perform psychiatric evaluations, treatment planning, and clinical management. They also provide geriatric consultation and liaison service to a specified long-term care unit. All residents are expected to acquire expertise in supportive psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, individual and group psychotherapy, and family therapy.
The goals of this year of training are to assimilate specialty skills. Residents have the opportunity to pursue various clinical electives during this year. They also continue to work with a smaller number of selected outpatients as their ‘private practice’ assignment and function as junior faculty. In addition, residents continue to hone their skills in consultation and liaison at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson. Lastly, the senior year provides opportunities to experience academic and administrative psychiatry as chief residents and teachers for the junior residents and medical students both at Bergen Regional and Saint Joseph’s Medical Center.
Each resident is required to complete a senior project prior to graduating. The project may be a paper submitted for publication, a Grand Rounds presentation, a presentation at a regional or national meeting, a research study, or some other scholarly effort as approved by the Residency Training Director. Each resident is matched with a faculty mentor who guides, supervises, and assists with the project. Formal class time is dedicated to discussion of the individual research projects and includes review of statistics, methodology, IRB presentation, interpretation of data, and writing for publication.
The rich didactic curriculum at Bergen Regional Medical Center takes full advantage of the wealth of specialists available in the academic and clinical community. The courses are planned to correlate with the clinical rotations and educational goals of each training year and to maximize the efficiency of the time spent reading and attending courses. Time for classroom attendance is protected on all resident rotations. The following list shows some highlights of courses for each year of the residency training experience.
Lecture seminars are primarily introductory in nature and provide residents with solid grounding in psychiatric assessment.
The PGY-I courses are the following:
- Psychiatric Interview, Diagnosis, Formulation, and Treatment Planning
- DSM Classification System
- Clinical Psychiatry
- Clinical Neurology
- Introduction to Psychotherapy, Psychopharmacology, Legal Issues, Geriatric Psychiatry, Substance Abuse, and Medically Related Psychiatric Disorders.
In-depth lectures in Clinical Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, along with Subspecialty Psychiatry courses, are the basis of the didactic program for this year. Seminars in psychiatric research guide residents as they start their individual research projects.
Courses continue in Psychotherapy and new courses are added in Individual Psychodynamic Psychotherapy; Group and Family Therapy; Brief Psychotherapies; and Supportive, Interpersonal, and Cognitive Therapy. All residents are required to videotape their psychotherapy sessions for review by expert faculty supervisors. Additional courses are given on Community Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry. All PGY-III residents attend a 14 week (½ day per week) Neuroscience course at Columbia University in New York City.
PGY-IV courses consist of the following:
- Clinical Neurology Review
- Clinical Psychiatry Review
- Teaching, Research, and Clinical Supervision
- Transition to Practice Seminars
Case conferences combine the best of faculty teaching and peer supervision. Residents present difficult and unusual cases to their colleagues and attending physicians and receive feedback and suggestions on the presentation as well as patient evaluation and management.
Grand Rounds are held weekly. Speakers include mental health professionals of local, regional, and national prominence. Residents routinely present challenging clinical problems in the form of evidence based clinical case conferences.