Philosophy and Goals

Our goal is to provide residents with a comprehensive training experience, which first and foremost will enable them to become highly effective clinicians. In addition, we value individual development and work with each resident to develop her or his expertise in special areas. Our program’s educational experience allows residents to prepare fully for their career in clinical psychiatry or academic psychiatry.

Core Competencies

We ensure that our residents are competent in the six core competencies outlined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education:

  • Patient care
  • Medical knowledge
  • Practice-based learning and improvement
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based practice

Our comprehensive system of supervision and evaluation gives residents continuous feedback so that they can grow and monitor their progress. In addition, we have fully implemented the 2011 ACGME requirements for duty hours, and have been ahead of the curve in terms of education in quality improvement.

Psychotherapy Training

In addition to the six core competencies, psychiatry residents must become competent in the practice of psychotherapy. Our residents get extensive exposure to the theory of psychotherapy and have ample opportunity to develop their psychotherapy skills. Particular psychotherapy emphases include:

  • Brief psychotherapy
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy (CBT)
  • Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • Marital and family therapy
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

Our department also has a psychotherapy research program exploring the physiological mechanisms involved in effective psychotherapy.

Integration of Psychopharmacology & Psychotherapy

Our Department is home to psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, psychiatry residents and psychology trainees – all under the same roof, working together. You will learn how to work collaboratively with therapists while you provide medication management.

Our faculty directly supervise all the residents’ sessions at WisPIC - so, you will learn how to skillfully blend psychotherapeutic techniques and medication management.

And that’s how you become a skilled psychiatrist – one who understands comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment and treatment.

Emphasis on Outpatient Care

We believe that residents are best prepared for practice in a setting that appropriately balances inpatient and outpatient care. While the PGY1 year is an inpatient year, as at other residency programs, we are unique in our immersion of residents in outpatient clinics in their PGY2 year.

Residents develop outpatient management skills in a variety of settings:

  • Wisconsin Psychiatry Institute and Clinics (WisPIC), our academic outpatient clinic, which serves thousands of patients with a broad range of diagnoses and demographic backgrounds. WisPIC is the home of our Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic, Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic and Immediate Treatment Clinic.
  • The Madison VA, which includes a general Mental Health Clinic, an Integrated Primary Care/Behavioral Health Clinic, an Addictive Disorders Treatment Program, a Community Support Program (for veterns with severe, persistent mental illness) and a Neuroleptic Clinic.
  • Access Community Health, a federally funded medical clinic serving indigent patients and providing integrated mental health and primary care.

By the end of your training, you will have worked with a diverse group of children, adolescents, adults and older adults, many of them for up to 3 years of continuous care.

Residents' Active Participation

Becoming a psychiatrist is an active process. We strongly encourage residents to take responsibility for their education, including developing their goals for residency training. Residents are very actively involved in the Residency Education Committee, which monitors the quality of the residency and sets educational policy, and in quarterly Resident Caucuses. As you will find out, residents are also very involved in the residency recruitment process, since they have a large stake in helping select their future colleagues!

You will enter our program with unique talents, interests and passions. We will do our best to foster these and help you explore new directions.

Evidence-Based Psychiatry & Life-Long Learning

Learning doesn’t stop at the end of residency. We try to cultivate the life-long learning skills that psychiatrists will need to stay on top of the ever expanding knowledge base. Psychiatric practice will likely be radically different in 20 years. Developing the skills to critically read the literature and incorporate new evidence-based practices is a key component of our residency program.

Furthermore, we are preparing our residents for the future of medicine through our innovative Quality Improvement curriculum, which includes a seminar and participation in quality improvement project.