The rural track of the psychiatry residency program at Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) was created to further our belief that everyone should have equal access to healthcare. There are stark disparities in access to mental care between urban/suburban and rural areas and that is particularly true in rural and Western North Carolina, where all 16 counties have been federally designated as mental health professional shortage areas. Our mission is to train excellent psychiatrists who can work with rural, underserved populations and who are experts at providing consultation in primary care settings.
Our rural track is based out of Linville, NC, where our rural track residents will spend the majority of their time. We received initial accreditation in 2022 with the first class of four rural track residents starting in July of 2024. The Appalachian Regional Healthcare System’s Behavioral Health Services includes both an outpatient clinic as well as a brand new 27-bed inpatient behavioral health hospital that opened in November 2021.
The partnership between MAHEC, Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health Hospital, Mission Hospital, Watauga Hospital, Broughton State Hospital, and AppFamily Medicine will achieve the goal of increasing rural access to mental healthcare by having residents train in a beautiful part of the state that has developed the resources to provide an excellent graduate medical education experience.
The rural track of the MAHEC Psychiatry Residency offers an opportunity to serve an area of Western North Carolina with great need for additional mental health services. We hope you will consider applying here for this next step in your training!
For more information or questions about our program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAHEC offers a variety of student rotations in Family Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, General Surgery, Rural Medicine, and Psychiatry for both in-state and out-of-state students interested in our residency programs. Learn more about our 4th year medical student rotations
MAHEC is committed to creating an equitable and inclusive place to work, learn, and receive care. We actively recruit physicians, staff, and students from underrepresented minorities, and we strive to implement policies and procedures that value and support diverse backgrounds and experiences. MAHEC does not discriminate on the basis of socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, spiritual practice, geography, disability, or age.
First-year residents spend the majority of their year in the Appalachian Regional Behavioral Health (ARBH) hospital doing inpatient psychiatry for a total of six months. Residents also have one month of inpatient psychiatry at Broughton State Hospital in Morganton, NC; one month of neurology at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC; two months of inpatient medicine at the Watauga Medical Center; and three months of outpatient family medicine at AppFamily Medicine.
Second-year residents start their longitudinal continuity clinics, seeing one full day of adult and one full day of child patients at the ARBH outpatient center. In addition, residents will have one half day of psychotherapy clinic each week. Longitudinal rotations in the second year include the Lees-McRae College Student Health Department and the Crossnore Communities for Children.
Third-year residents return to the inpatient setting with more specialized psychiatry rotations including child and adolescent, geriatrics, and consultation/liaison with electroconvulsive therapy—as well as a second month of neurology—all of which take place at Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC. Residents also have a substance use disorder rotation at the Julian F. Keith Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center (ADATC). The third-year resident also returns to the general adult psychiatry inpatient unit at ARBH as a junior resident. Adult and child continuity clinics are one half day each week in addition to the one half day spent seeing psychotherapy patients. The basic requirements for residency are completed after the third year, allowing residents to fast-track into a child/adolescent fellowship if desired.
Fourth-year residents will spend a couple of months at the ARBH inpatient psychiatry unit, as well as a half day of adult clinic and a half day of psychotherapy each week. One half day per week is spent doing collaborative and integrated care consultations with rural primary care physicians as part of the Rural Health Initiative. The remainder of the fourth-year resident’s time is elective, allowing them to create a personalized curriculum as they prepare to begin their career in psychiatry.
All residents have one afternoon each week protected for didactics. This includes an ongoing Journal Club, case conference, resident presentations, research, and ongoing lectures overviewing the psychiatric field of knowledge with an emphasis on evidence-based care. Didactics will be held jointly with the Asheville-based program, and lectures for both programs are offered virtually, allowing residents to join hassle-free from their rotation site rather than trying to commute to a central location.
The rural track of the psychiatry residency is located in Linville, NC, and is just a short drive away from Boone, NC, where one of our family medicine rural tracks is located. Residents will rotate at the Watauga Medical Center alongside Boone family medicine residents, allowing for more cross-fertilization of ideas and collaboration.
We invite you to apply to our program via the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). We will review your application and contact you if we are able to offer you an interview. Typically, our interview season runs from October through January.
A complete ERAS application is required, including:
The Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs will select from among eligible applicants on the basis of residency program-related criteria such as their preparedness, ability, aptitude, academic credentials, communication skills, and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity.
An applicant must meet or exceed the following minimum qualification(s) to be eligible for selection and appointment to MAHEC’s GME residency programs:
Special laws and regulations apply to international medical graduates who wish to enter the United States to undertake graduate medical education. MAHEC's policies and procedures regarding graduates of international medical schools comply with federal and state laws and regulations and MAHEC's commitment to graduate medical education.
Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada must have a currently valid certificate from ECFMG. Applicants must successfully pass both Step 1 (basic medical) and Step 2 (clinical knowledge and skills) of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
While MAHEC does not sponsor a visa, the international medical graduate applicant must also possess a current/valid visa option or other status governed by the U.S. Immigration Regulations to participate in a GME program.
Finally, the North Carolina Medical Board requires that physicians who are graduates of schools that are not accredited by the LCME or the AOA (foreign medical schools) must be individually certified by ECFMG, have successfully completed at least three years of accredited graduate medical training, and have passed the USMLE or its equivalent to be eligible for application for full licensure. An international medical graduate must complete all other application requirements required by MAHEC and the GME program.