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PGY1 Clinical Experience and Didactics

The First Year (PGY-1)

The first year is devoted to acquiring essential clinical skills in psychiatry and medicine, including interviewing, examination, diagnosis, and treatment. This year is divided as follows:

  • 6 months of medicine rotations, filling requirements in:
    • 2 months in inpatient medicine
    • 1 month in outpatient medicine
    • 1 month in emergency medicine
    • 2 months in neurology
  • 6 months of psychiatry rotations:
    • 1 month of inpatient psychiatry at the VA Medical Center
    • 1 month of outpatient psychotherapy (addiction psychiatry at our outpatient addiction clinic)
    • 2 months of inpatient psychiatry at University Hospital
    • 1 month of emergency psychiatry at University Hospital
    • 1 month of inpatient psychiatry at Community General Hospital with exposure to ECT

Over the course of their first year, interns learn to interview and collect data efficiently, systematically observe and recognize psychopathology, organize these data and make a diagnosis, and develop multidisciplinary treatment plans. Concomitantly, the course work focuses on interviewing, diagnostic clinical psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, and clinical psychopharmacology. The first year also includes didactics on the basic concepts of psychotherapy and how to apply them in the settings that interns work in. 


PGY1 July Orientation: The Cornerstone

During the month of July, incoming residents are launched in to an intensive 4-week orientation: the Cornerstone. The Cornerstone is dedicated to preparing PGY1 residents to successfully function as a resident in inpatient psychiatry and on-call in ER psychiatry as both a clinician and a teacher. By the end of this unique course, residents demonstrate both the knowledge base and skills necessary to:

  • Interview patients for diagnostic, initial treatment and disposition
  • Develop basic formulations for purposes of diagnostic, treatment and disposition
  • Start and follow initial treatments as appropriate, and know the risks, benefits, and purposes of each treatment
  • Function appropriately in the ER and acute inpatient settings


The cornerstone experience also includes setting up a process group which continues throughout the first two years of residency, with an option to continue it further if the residents decide on it. It also includes an experiential exploration of one's own family and journey into psychiatry so far with the unique Family of Origins seminar which is an essential part of the Cornerstone month.


PGY1 Psychiatry Interns, Class of 2027