General Psychiatry Residency Curriculum

The curriculum for the General Psychiatry Residency program at Wake Forest School of Medicine is carefully designed to allow residents to establish a well-rounded foundation in psychiatry through a variety of learning experiences.

Our goal is to provide a balanced training experience that prepares residents for a successful career in the area of psychiatry that interests them.

During the four-year program, residents benefit from:

  • A stimulating and rewarding environment
  • Valuable research and forensic experiences during elective and selective rotations
  • A rich didactic program that includes multidisciplinary conferences, a journal club, valuable lectures, grand rounds presentations and seminars
  • A minimum of two hours of individual psychotherapy supervision each week
  • Rotation-specific supervision from the service chief
  • A Faculty Teaching Clinic that is staffed by residents and supervised by members of the faculty
  • Unique learning opportunities in modern neuropsychiatric assessment, including dynamic neuroimaging technologies, and in geriatric psychiatry

We are proud to have a dedicated faculty that works closely with residents at all levels. Our residents benefit from ample individual time with faculty advisers, supervisors and mentors through every year of training.

Residents also gain valuable experience as teachers working with medical students, residents from other departments and other mental health professionals who train or work at the rotation sites.

Clinical Rotations

Our residents gain the core competencies of clinical psychiatry by rotating through thoughtfully designed clinical experiences. Our general medicine program is designed to be flexible, offering longitudinal patient care opportunities in state-of-the-art facilities.

Clinical rotations encompass all forms of mental health service delivery, including:

  • A child guidance clinic
  • A veterans administration medical center
  • Community mental health centers
  • Managed care programs
  • State hospitals

During the pediatrics rotation, residents spend one month at Downtown Health Plaza, a satellite clinic in Winston-Salem that is run by the hospital’s pediatrics department.

As part of the general medicine rotation, residents spend two months at the Salisbury VA Medical Center (VAMC). Upper-level residents also spend three months at the Salisbury VAMC while completing their VA selective psychiatry rotation, which includes a combination of inpatient, outpatient, medication management, psychotherapy, substance abuse, geriatric, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury treatment.

During the PG-3 year, residents have the opportunity to participate in a year-long experience seeing college and graduate student patients at the Wake Forest University Student Health Center. One day per week, residents provide students with psychiatric evaluations, medication management and brief therapy when needed. They work with an attending psychiatrist and the staff of the Health Center and University Counseling Center.

Upper-level residents also rotate through the Winston-Salem VA Outpatient Clinic as part of their adult outpatient rotation.

Conferences and Didactics

The didactic program includes a combination of the following elements:

  • A case conference
  • A journal club
  • A resident-organized teaching conference
  • Grand rounds presentations
  • Individual and group supervision
  • Lectures
  • Psychiatry performance improvement didactics

Residents gain valuable experience as teachers working with medical students, residents from other departments and other mental health professionals who train or work at the rotation sites.

Research Opportunities

Research is an important part of our residency program and gives residents an opportunity to explore topics that are both important to the field of psychiatry and applicable to their own interests. Our residents are encouraged to work with faculty members or develop their own projects as their interests and time permit.

Current research initiatives include:

  • “Enhancing Clinical Knowledge and Treatment Options of Psychiatry Residents and Faculty for Opiate Dependence; Including Buprenorphine with Adjunct Therapy to Improve Outcomes in Provider Practice,” funded by a grant from the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers
  • “Obsessive-compulsive and Phobic Symptoms in Epilepsy: Associated Factors and Impact on Quality of Life”
  • “Qualitative Analysis of Victimization and Bullying Among Adolescents Admitted to Inpatient Psychiatric Unit”
  • “Physicians’ Perception on Genetic Testing for Treatment of Psychiatric Patients”
  • “Preventative Care in Prodrome and early Psychosis: Moving from Reactive to Proactive”
  • “The Role of Endogenous Opioidergic Systems in Breathing-based Analgesia”
  • “Intimate Partner Violence and the Gay Community”
  • “In the Driver’s Seat: Approaching Geriatric Patients with Driving Concerns”

The Department of Psychiatry holds an annual Research Symposium each October. The event includes lectures from special guest speakers on emerging areas of psychiatry research and offers continuing medical education credit for attendees.