Our Curriculum

First-year didactics provide an overview of the psychiatric field of knowledge with an emphasis on evidence-based care and the emerging fields of neurobiology and genetics as they pertain to psychiatry. Residents are taught cognitive behavioral therapy, supportive psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy. There are ongoing psychopharmacology seminars and a journal club.

Residents are expected to participate in research projects beginning in their first year, with results of that work to be submitted for publication or presented in poster sessions during the course of their four years. Financial support is available to travel for research-related activities. Residents also participate in quality improvement projects and study systems of care throughout their training. 

PGY1—First-year residents work in various inpatient settings, including a tertiary care center, a regional hospital, and a small community hospital. Next year we will be adding rotations at the region’s state hospital and at the VA Medical Center. Inpatient medicine and neurology are located at Mission Health. Each resident also spends a month in an ambulatory family medicine clinic and a month with behavioral pediatricians who primarily see children with autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit disorders, and those who are believed to be victims of abuse.

PGY2—Second-year residents are in a variety of outpatient settings including community psychiatry, a university student health center, an assertive community treatment team, an adolescent girl’s residential program, the outpatient clinic at the Cherokee Indian Hospital, the emergency department at Mission Health, and in outpatient longitudinal adult and child clinics. They also spend one half-day a week in a primary care clinic working one on one with a family medicine preceptor to strengthen their general medical knowledge and to prepare to work in integrated care settings.

PGY3—The third year focuses on returning to inpatient work in more specialized settings: child and adolescent, geriatrics, and consultation/liaison with electroconvulsive therapy and an inpatient experience with substance use disorders at the Julian F. Keith Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center. The third-year resident also returns to the general adult inpatient unit as a junior resident. Residents continue to see their continuity outpatients two afternoons a week.

PGY4—The fourth year will include a forensics exerience at Broughton State Hospital and outpatient consultations with rural primary care physicians in teaching hubs created by MAHEC as part of the Rural Health Initiative. Residents will be able to use electives to create a personalized curriculum as they prepare for a career in psychiatry.

Our outpatient psychiatry clinic, the Center for Psychiatry and Mental Wellness, is housed at UNC Health Sciences at MAHEC along with branch campuses of the UNC School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Our psychiatry residency program is located on the same campus with family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pharmacy, and dental residencies, which provides an optimal environment for cross-fertilization of ideas and collaboration.