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Educational Activities

Combined All-Resident Experiences

Grand Rounds – A weekly Department-wide conference during the academic year. Residents have an opportunity to talk with the speakers. 

Journal Club – A monthly presentation designed to build evidence-based knowledge.

Program Directors Lunch – Monthly meeting with the Program Director.

Psychotherapy Teaching

Psychotherapy knowledge and training is a core component of the training mission. Our curriculum unfolds over the four years. We also have an extended series on ethnic psychologies. This helps residents broaden their understanding of the field and of the patients we serve, while also understanding the Eurocentric aspect to traditional teaching and theory.     

Foundations are established starting in the PGY-1 year, then a deeper dive into theory and understanding about psychotherapy in year two. Then in PGY-3, residents get detailed information about types of therapies – CBT, DBT, long-term, short-term, ethnic psychology, family, group and others. The knowledge and experience are then consolidated in the PGY-4 year.

Clinic caseloads in the PGY-2, PGY-3 and PGY-4 can include patients receiving various forms of psychotherapy. (e.g., psychodynamic, supportive, brief, cognitive-behavioral) 

In Rochester Psychiatric Center’s inpatient units, longer-term psychotherapies are typically a part of treatment and rehabilitation plans.

Individual supervision experience is integral to psychotherapy training.  PGY-3 residents have a psychotherapy supervisor. PGY-4 residents are given the option of having an additional supervisor.


PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents have a preceptor with whom they meet weekly (PGY-1 residents only during psychiatry rotations), and PGY-3 and PGY-4 residents have a therapy supervisor with whom they are expected to meet weekly.  In addition, residents can choose to have a professional/academic mentor to help with career development.  The Program Directors are happy to help you connect with a mentor as you wish.

Family Therapy

Family therapy supervision occurs in the context of the seminar at the end of the second year, and in the seminar and practicum in the PGY-3 year.  Additional psychotherapy supervision occurs with the resident’s preceptor and with service-based attendings.

The Resident as Teacher

Often the best way to learn is to teach.  All residents supervise medical students throughout the curriculum.  In addition, residents are mentored in providing feedback to medical students in a laddered experience – that is, the PGY-2 residents provide feedback to medical students and are mentored in doing so by the PGY-4 residents, who in turn are mentored by a faculty member. Furthermore, opportunities exist to develop lectures for local medical and college students.  Residency didactics contain sessions on teaching and supervising.

Quality Improvement

It is important that residents learn about Quality Improvement (QI), the framework used to systematically improve the way care is delivered to patients.  An important basis for QI work is the Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle, an iterative process.  Residents are expected to participate in a QI project during their residency. URMC has a robust Unit-Based Performance Program (UPP), with unit-based teams run by clinicians. Residents can participate in a UPP team over at least one year should they wish.  In addition, residents participate on Incident Review Committees and in Root Cause Analyses.

Scholarly Project

Each PGY-4 resident is expected to prepare publication-quality scholarly paper or poster. This work may be based on the resident's own research, innovative project, or scholarly literature review.  It is important for residents to share their knowledge with others, so this scholarly effort is presented at the Department’s annual Poster Day held each spring.  Residents are especially encouraged to submit their work for publication or poster presentation at the national level.