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Curriculum

Resident points to a screen during a learning session.

Clinical training and practice exams

The first year offers clinical experience in a variety of fields necessary for the practice of psychiatry and is based in a variety of medical specialty and primary care settings, including psychiatry. The second year's emphasis is on strengthening your identity as a developing psychiatrist and is based primarily in the inpatient psychiatric setting with some elective outpatient experiences introducing the breadth of our field.

In the course of the first two years, you also begin working with individual long-term psychotherapy patients, providing a welcome shift in perspective from the inpatient services.

The third year is dedicated to the development of an outpatient practice. You’re primarily responsible for a patient panel that spans the spectrum of psychiatric illness in a community-based clinic that includes outpatients presenting for the first time, as well as complex patients who have come to Mayo Clinic seeking a subspecialty opinion.

The structure of the fourth year provides a dynamic balance between elective flexibility and the opportunity to integrate all that you’ve learned. You’ll return to the inpatient and consultation services in a junior attending role with responsibility for treatment team leadership and education. Additionally, you’re encouraged to use elective time to refine your skills and increase your exposure to self-selected areas.

Integrated Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Track

To support residents who have an interest in child and adolescent psychiatry, the Psychiatry Residency offers an integrated track that provides additional time in child psychiatry and pediatrics during the initial two years of adult training. The goal is to offer grounding in developmental psychiatry, enriched by additional clinical experience and a supplemental didactic seminar tailored to the long-term goal of practicing as child and adolescent psychiatrists.

Research and scholarly mentorship are an important component of this track. Knowing that interests can shift, however, this track is structured so that you’ll still have the flexibility to pursue other career goals and remain in the general adult program after the third year if desired.

Distinguishing features of the Integrated CAP track include:

  • Experience in pediatrics and pediatric neurology in the intern year
  • Mentoring in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry from the beginning of training
  • Access to all CAP seminars and didactics for trainees in the integrated track
  • Supervised outpatient experience with a small number of carefully selected children and adolescents from the first year of training
  • Seamless transition into the CAP program at any point after the PGY-2 year while meeting all general psychiatry training requirements
  • Compatibility with the Research Track - research in child and adolescent psychiatry is strongly encouraged and supported with mentoring and adequate elective time
  • One attendance trip to the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

Research Track

The Research Track provides the structure necessary for residents who are interested in clinical research to receive mentorship and early exposure. The goal is to systematically develop a knowledge base and research skills while also meeting the educational goals of general psychiatry training.

Program structure includes:

  • Becoming familiar with the research protocols of the department and identifying a research mentor in your area of interest in the PGY-1 year
  • Designing a research proposal with the assistance of your mentor and apply to the research track in PGY-2 (10% of time dedicated to research, or about one afternoon per week)
  • 20% of your time will be dedicated to research in PGY-3 (about one day per week), and you'll also participate in graduate courses (including Epidemiology 1)
  • 50-60% of your time is dedicated to research in PGY-4 (6-8 months) and you'll present the results of your research at a national meeting

Community Psychiatry Track

The Mayo Clinic Psychiatry Residency partnered with our Community Psychiatry Division to develop a Community Psychiatry Track. Building on the psychiatric patient care foundation developed in the early training years in Rochester, residents in the Community Psychiatry Track will join the outpatient community-based practice at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This regional practice serves a large rural population struggling with access to behavioral health resources impacted by multifactorial social determinants of health. Residents will master the clinical skills to navigate a complex community system of care while learning leadership and interpersonal skills to be an effective team-based community psychiatrist. 

Clinician-Educator Track

The Psychiatry Clinician-Educator Track provides interested residents an opportunity to further their educational aptitudes and individual academic goals. In biweekly seminar, we cover foundational adult learning theory, review different teaching styles for different learners and clinical environments, explore the many opportunities for educationally oriented academic projects, and enjoy the comradery of like-minded clinical educators. Outside of seminar, track participants are provided with individual mentorship on their teaching skills and evolving academic project. In this group of peers and faculty dedicated to education we aim to solidify our skills and consolidate our professional identities as psychiatric educators. 

Rotation schedule

PGY-1

RotationLength

Family medicine or pediatrics

2 blocks*

Neurology

2 blocks*

Internal medicine

2 blocks

Emergency psychiatry

1 block

Child and adolescent psychiatry

1 or 2 blocks

Medical psychiatry

1 or 2 blocks

Acute adult psychiatry

1 or 2 blocks

*Includes one block outpatient and one block inpatient.

PGY-2

RotationLength

Child and adolescent psychiatry

1 or 2 blocks

Addiction psychiatry

1 or 2 blocks

Consultation-liaison psychiatry

3 blocks

Medical psychiatry

2 or 3 blocks

Acute adult psychiatry

2 or 3 blocks

Elective

1 block

PGY-3

RotationLength

Outpatient psychiatry:

  • Community psychiatry
  • Consultation psychiatry
  • Subspecialty geriatric psychiatry clinic
  • Subspecialty mood clinic
  • Subspecialty behavioral medicine clinic
  • Emergency psychiatry
  • Forensic psychiatry (elective)
  • Research (elective)
13 blocks*

*An integrated outpatient year containing experiences across outpatient areas.

PGY-4

RotationLength

Electives

10 blocks

Senior resident associate (junior attending role)

3 blocks

Call frequency

The call schedule will vary by individual rotation. Mayo Clinic follows the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, so you’re provided with one day in seven free from educational and clinical responsibilities averaged over a four-week period, and duty hours must be limited to 80 hours a week with no more than 30 hours of continuous duty.

Call duties vary by service assignment:

  • On the adult inpatient psychiatry units, the PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents assigned to these teams take call from 5 p.m. to midnight on a rotating basis (approximately once a week). When the call day falls on a weekend, the resident takes call from 8 a.m. to midnight.
  • Overnight call is provided by the PGY-3 residents who serve from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. in three- and four-night blocks with supervision provided by an attending psychiatrist on home call. The total overnight call is approximately seven weeks a year. Residents have a recovery day (free from usual clinical responsibilities) on the day following their call night as well as a day free of clinical responsibilities prior to their weeknight shifts. There is overlap between 8 p.m. and midnight (two residents are in-house at the same time).
  • PGY-4 residents provide telephone supervision for junior residents in the emergency department from 5 to 8 p.m. on weeknights on a rotating basis.

Didactic training

Learning is optimized when there’s both context and active involvement. For this reason, we’re intentional about making sure that interactive lectures, seminars, small discussion groups, clinical conferences, journal clubs and one-on-one instruction are integral parts of your learning experience.

Core curriculum

The entire four-year didactic curriculum has been redesigned and consolidated into a half day each week and deliberately protected from clinical interruption. This allows you to make the most of the lectures and small group discussions. 

Over the four years of residency, the didactic series covers the spectrum of theoretical and practical psychiatric knowledge necessary for effective practice. In addition to didactic lectures every week, each class meets with their class-specific seminar leaders with whom they work for the academic year in a space that promotes developmentally appropriate discussion and growth.

The PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents participate in a weekly advanced psychotherapy seminar held at the home of one of the senior attending staff.  This “fireside” series is perennially touted as a favorite learning experience.

Other learning opportunities

  • Senior residents coordinate a weekly teaching conference, including clinical case conferences and journal clubs for all residents, fellows, and faculty.
  • A monthly clinical teaching conference led by the department chair.
  • A monthly Psych Cinema for residents and fellows where a psychiatrically-themed movie is hosted by department faculty members in their homes. Dinner is provided.
  • The various subspecialty fellowships at Mayo Clinic (Addiction Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry) also sponsor case conferences and journal club gatherings that interested residents attend alongside the fellows and faculty.
  • A wide range of conferences sponsored by other Mayo Clinic departments.
  • Some residents have selected courses in advanced neuroscience or research methodology offered by Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Teaching opportunities

You’ll have the opportunity to teach Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine students and visiting students from other medical schools through bedside instruction as well as formal didactic lectures. Senior residents are integrally involved in the growth of their junior colleagues, both formally and informally.

Research training

Research opportunities at Mayo Clinic are outstanding. You’ll be encouraged to participate in research projects with the consulting staff. These include opportunities for case reports, literature reviews, clinical studies, and laboratory-based projects. There’s tremendous institutional support for projects and presentations, ranging from extensive graphic art assistance to Mayo Clinic funding for trips to present posters and lectures at national meetings.

Clinician-Investigator Training Program

The Clinician-Investigator Training Program is an integrated, comprehensive educational experience for trainees interested in pursuing a research-based career within a robust clinical practice.

Clinical and translational research training

Mayo Clinic provides a variety of services to all Mayo investigators and study teams. Learn more about opportunities in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS).

Resident responsibilities

Although there are no private inpatients at Mayo Clinic, there are teaching and non-teaching services on the inpatient units. The non-teaching teams have emerged as a reflection of the program's commitment to maintain an appropriate balance between service and education for the residents. Every teaching-service psychiatric patient is assigned to a team typically consisting of one attending psychiatrist, one or two junior residents, registered nurses, a pharmacist, and a social worker.

Junior residents care for five to seven patients on each inpatient service. They’re also responsible for supervising and teaching medical students from Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine or visiting medical students who are assigned to the psychiatric services. A senior psychiatric resident may also be on service in a leadership role (senior resident associate).

Evaluation

To ensure adequate acquisition of knowledge and development of technical skills, your performance is continuously assessed via:

  • Regular, individualized faculty feedback based on direct observation
  • Annual peer evaluations
  • Semi-annual reviews with program directors to review ACGME Milestones scores and development as a psychiatrist
  • Annual participation in the PRITE
  • Simulation center and clinical practice opportunities to complete Clinical Skills Verification Examinations modeled after Part II of the ABPN certifying exam
  • Regular evaluations of both faculty and curriculum (via anonymous formal web-based evaluations, regular meetings with the program director, and the annual program evaluation)