Eligibility and Selection of Residents: Policy and Procedures
The University of Wisconsin Psychiatry Residency is committed to recruiting and training physicians of the highest caliber. The process of evaluating and selecting candidates for the residency is meant to be equitable and accountable to the applicants as well as to the faculty and current residents. The program selects from among eligible applicants on the basis of their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credential, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity.
The program will not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, creed, arrest or conviction record (unless substantially related to job duties), disability, disabled and Vietnam era veteran status, Guard or Reserve status, or retaliation or any other applicable legally protected status.
All participants in this process adhere to the rules and ethical guidelines set forth by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP).
Applicants for PGY1 Positions
- The Psychiatry Residency accepts applications only through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). The following eligibility criteria apply:
- Each applicant must have completed medical school or must be on track to complete medical school by June 15 of the year of entry into the residency. Graduates of medical schools not accredited by the LCME or the AOA must have ECFMG certification. (No application will be reviewed prior to ECFMG certification.)
- Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident (with Green Card) or must eligible for a J-1 Clinical Visa sponsored by ECFMG. UWHC does not accept H-1B (temporary worker) visas.
- U.S. clinical experience as a physician or physician-in-training is required. This includes at least three months of clinical experience at a U.S. hospital or outpatient clinic (and at least one month in Psychiatry). This clinical experience must have happened within the last three years prior to the application being submitted. Research does not count towards this requirement.
- Each applicant must submit:
- Application via ERAS
- Medical Student Performance Evaluation (also known as a Dean’s Letter);
- at least two additional letters of recommendation (at least one of these must be from a Psychiatrist who supervised or evaluated the applicant during a U.S. clinical experience in Psychiatry, and must describe the clinical role of the applicant in this experience);
- a Personal Statement;
- USMLE or COMLEX scores (at least Step 1). By the start of training at UWHC, residents must have passed USMLE Steps 1 and 2 (CK & CS) or COMLEX Levels 1 and 2 (CE & PE).
- Medical School Transcript
- Photo. (Please note that the program does not look at any photos in applications until after the application has been reviewed and a decision about interviewing has been made.)
- Applicants must have sufficient command of English to permit accurate and unimpeded communication. During interviewing, applicants may be specifically assessed in this regard.
- All applicants must be registered in the NRMP match. Candidates with prior Match commitments will be rejected.
- Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident (with Green Card) or must eligible for a J-1 clinical visa sponsored by ECFMG. UWHC does not accept H-1B visas.
Based on a careful review of each application by the Program Coordinator (PC) and Program Director (PD) or Associate Program Director (APD), an applicant is either invited for an interview, placed on hold pending further information or declined an interview.
Before accepting a resident who is transferring from another ACGME-accredited residency program, the PD must obtain written or electronic verification of previous educational experiences from current/prior Program Director and a summative competency-based performance evaluation of the transferring resident.
Verification must include evaluation of professional integrity of any resident transferring from one program to another and must include a summary of the clinical experiences (e.g., clinical logs) of that resident in the original program.
Interviews of Candidates
Qualified applicants are invited for a two-day visit to the Psychiatry Residency. Applicants who are invited for an interview will be informed, in writing or by electronic means (residency’s recruitment website), of the terms, conditions, and benefits of their appointment, including financial support; vacations; family, sick, and other leaves of absence; professional liability, hospitalization, health, disability and other insurance provided for the residents and their families; and the conditions under which UWHC provides call rooms, meals, laundry services, or their equivalents.
On the first evening of the visit, candidates meet residents, faculty (including the Department Chair or designee) and each other in an informal event. During the second day, candidates are carefully matched with faculty and residents for a set of interviews. Candidates also tour various clinical sites. The PD and APD meet each candidate and respond to questions from candidates after the visit.
Review of Candidates
The Residency Selection Committee (RSC) meets approximately weekly during the recruitment season to review each candidate. The RSC consists of the PD, the APD, the 2-3 Chief Residents and the PC. One or two additional residents are also invited to join the committee. The Department Chair and Vice Chair for Education (if different from the PD) serve as ad hoc members of the RSC. The RSC is directly accountable to the Program Evaluation Committee (PEC).
The RSC carefully vets each candidate and reviews: her or his academic record in medical school and beforehand; extracurricular activities, including involvement in the community; participation in research; personal statement; letters of recommendation; and formal evaluations by the faculty and residents who interviewed the candidate.
The RSC assigns a preliminary quartile rank to each candidate, roughly corresponding to the following actions:
(1) actively pursue this candidate and rank the candidate at top of the NRMP list,
(2) rank this candidate,
(3) accept this candidate only if more qualified candidates are not available, and
(4) do not rank this candidate.
The PD, APD and PC are responsive to and respectful of all candidates irrespective of ranking.
At the final RSC meetings, the quartile rank list is converted into a more detailed rank-order list for submission by the PD to the NRMP. Candidates should have passed USMLE or COMLEX Steps 1, 2 CK and 2 CS prior to starting the residency; not having passed by the time the NRMP Rank Order List is due may be grounds for not ranking a candidate.
The residency accepts residents into PGY1 positions via the NRMP Match.
Review of Policy and Procedures
The entire residency selection process is reviewed annually by the PEC to ensure its quality and integrity.
Candidates are asked to evaluate their experience of the interview process using an anonymous feedback form; the PEC reviews these results as well. As indicated, the PEC will revise the policy and procedures.
This policy is consistent with the UWHC Policy on Residency Selection and Appointment.