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Program Overview - What Makes us Unique?

A psychiatry residency at the University of Rochester incorporates a unique combination of clinical and didactic experiences. You will graduate with depth and breadth of knowledge and training that will prepare you for a smooth transition into your choice of clinical practice, a fellowship, teaching or research.

PGY-1 Year

All PGY-1 residents have a two-month neurology rotation, three months of internal medicine rotation, one month of emergency medicine and six months of inpatient psychiatry rotations in a variety of settings described in the Curriculum Overview / Rotations section.

Whether on medicine, neurology or psychiatry services, residents come together for seminars on Tuesday afternoons throughout the PGY-1 year.

In addition, there are combined seminar scheduled with upper level psychiatry residents (neuropsych, cultural diversity, history of psychiatry, medical care of the psychiatric patient and sleep disorders). Also, there is a Resident Organized Seminar Series (ROSS) lunch during some resident lunches on Tuesdays.

Seminars include:

  • Introduction to Psychiatry:
    • Introduction to DSM-5
    • Community Services Orientation
    • Introduction to Emergency Medicine
    • Medical Care of the Psychiatric Patient
    • Introduction to CPEP
    • Foundations of Psychotherapy and Supportive Therapy
    • Teaching Medical Students
    • Safety and Violence
  • Development and Child Psychopathology
  • ECT
  • Ethics
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Psychiatry Seminar Series
  • Introduction to Family Therapy
  • Psychological Testing
  • Working with the Deaf Population
  • Psychopathologies:
    • Anxiety Disorders
    • Eating Disorders
    • Mood Disorders
    • Psychosis
    • Psychosomatic Disorders
    • Substance Disorders

PGY-2 Year

The PGY-2 year is designed to ensure that residents gain confidence in the care of acute psychiatric patients. It includes exposure to a wide range of psychopathology in settings that teach focused, acute interventions. Over the course of this year the residents rotates through:

  • General Psychiatry Acute Service at SMH (Strong Memorial Hospital) and RPC (Rochester Psychiatric Center)
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Acute Services
  • Consultation Liaison Psychiatry
  • Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)
  • Addiction Psychiatry Services
  • Geriatric Inpatient Psychiatry Acute Services
  • Eating Disorders
  • ECT

Didactic experiences are consolidated into one half-day per week and include:

  • Ambulatory Systems Orientation
  • Bereavement
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Advanced Clinical Skills
  • Domestic Violence Training
  • Fundamentals of Psychopharmacology
  • Geriatric Case Conference
  • Introduction to Group Therapy
  • Introduction to Psychotherapy

The Resident Organized Seminar Series (ROSS) and combined seminars (Family Therapy and Motivational Interviewing) continue in the PGY-2 year.

PGY-3 Year

This year of training is focused on ambulatory psychiatric experiences in a variety of general and specialty settings at Strong Memorial and in the community. Priorities in this year include adding to and honing skills in various therapeutic modalities including:


  • Short- and long-term individual therapies (utilizing psychodynamic cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy)
  • Group and family therapies
  • In-depth experiences with the seriously and persistently mentally ill, forensic and geriatric populations
  • Perinatal clinic

Residents have a psychotherapy supervisor to aid in developing psychotherapy competencies.

Didactic experiences include:

  • Advanced Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Advanced Psychopharmacology
  • Davanloo and Supportive Therapies
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Therapy Practicum
  • Freud and Kohut Case Presentations
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • Neuropsych Testing
  • Introduction to Perinatal Psychiatry
  • Public Psychiatry Seminar Series
  • Scholarly Projects

The Resident Organized Seminar Series (ROSS) and combined seminars continue in the PGY-3 year.

PGY-4 Year

This is a year for consolidation, mastery, leadership and exploration as the resident approaches graduation and prepares for the transition to practice or fellowship training. To facilitate these developmental tasks, much of the PGY-4 year is reserved for electives.

Each resident is required to:

  • Pursue an area of clinical interest in-depth, typically in a "junior attending" role and to complete a scholarly project worthy of publication.
  • Maintain an office-based practice with on-going ambulatory patients.

Residents may focus the remainder of this year on mastering an area of clinical, administrative or research interest.

  • Didactics are limited to:
  • Departmental Grand Rounds
  • Resident Organized Seminar Series (ROSS)
  • Numerous elective seminars and workshops



There are many good reasons, but key among them is our reputation for high-quality education and professional development — cornerstones of our Psychiatry Department's mission since its inception in 1946. Six decades later, this commitment to excellence is stronger than ever and exemplified in our robust four-year residency program.

As you review our site, keep in mind that residency training, like all programs, in the Department of Psychiatry, embodies four interconnected themes that will have a profound impact on your educational experience:

  • Our patients are outstanding teachers. With a wealth of clinical programs and a large and diverse client base, the department's patient care services offer enormous learning opportunities for our trainees.
  • Our education programs emphasize multidisciplinary training. In addition to having highly developed knowledge and skills in one's own discipline, optimal patient care results from effective interactions between all members of the health care team.
  • Our program balances the theoretical and clinical perspectives of training. The biological aspects of psychiatry care have their place alongside in-depth training in psychological and systems interventions.
  • Our department is firmly committed to life-long learning and professional development. For residents, this translates into rich and rewarding opportunities at every level of our program. Conferences, grand rounds and a host of other educational offerings and activities assure a vibrant learning environment for all.


Small Program Size - To put it simply, this means more individual attention and one-to-one supervision with attendings. It also means that program leadership is responsive and accommodating and that the program has a "small family" feel.

Reasonable Workload - The program is not resident dependent, so the focus is more on learning than on clinical duties. The call schedule is incredible and there is a reasonable pace and duration to the typical workday offering a great balance between personal and professional lives.

Affordability - Whether you are single or have a family, Rochester is a very affordable place to live on a resident's salary. This extends to the housing market as well - you get more house for your money here than in other cities.

Great Teaching - Beyond the protected teaching time you can find at many residencies, our affiliation with the University of Rochester means we have the resources of one of the nation's best medical schools. Our residents have a high level of satisfaction with attendings and residents at all levels are involved in teaching medical students.

Strong Fellowships - Many of our residents go on to fellowships within our institution which means that if you are interested in forensic, geriatrics, or child/adolescent psychiatry, you will have the opportunity for a considerable amount of exposure in your area of interest.

Culture - Rochester offers all the diversity of a big city with museums such as the Memorial Art Gallery, the George Eastman House, the Rochester Museum and Science Center and the National Museum of Play. For orchestra and symphony lovers, there is the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman School of Music (nationally famous!). Dance lovers will enjoy salsa and swing dancing at a number of clubs in town, the Rochester School of Ballet and the Garth Fagan School of Dance.

Cuisine - Rochester has a huge array of affordable, authentic places for dining. There is everything from Rochester's own "garbage plate" to Sushi, Indian, Thai, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Greek, and more.

Exposure - Have the residency program affiliated with one of America's best hospitals gives residents exposure to a diversity of patients. Strong has acute care, geriatric, adolescent, child and mentally ill chemically addicted (MICA) units and a comprehensive psychiatry emergency program (CPEP) that receives patients from all over Monroe County and the surrounding area.

Location - Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region offers gorgeous parks and golf courses as well as only being a five hour drive to New York City and a three hour drive to Toronto.