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 by offering a wide variety of learning experiences.
Wake Forest provides the most robust and well-rounded training experience in our region by exposing residents to a breadth of educational opportunities and clinical rotations that are second to none!
We are proud to have a dedicated and experienced faculty that pushes our residents toward excellence while remaining approachable and encouraging. Faculty frequently spend time with residents in their homes or at other outings in the community. This family-oriented atmosphere leads to healthy departmental relationships and life-long mentoring opportunities.
Our residents gain the core competencies of clinical psychiatry by rotating through an array of faculty-designed clinical experiences broken into 13 four-week blocks each academic year.
Intern year finds our residents learning the foundations of psychiatric care during six months on the Adult Inpatient Psychiatry unit at the Sticht Center on the Wake Forest Baptist Hospital campus. This newly-renovated, 24-bed facility provides a safe and secure environment to learn psychopharmacology and various other aspects of inpatient care. Our inpatient medical director is seasoned psychiatrist, Dr. James Kimball.
Medicine and Neurology
The W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC, is the site of our medicine and neurology rotations during the PGY-1 year. Built in 1953, this beautiful campus is the medical home to more than 287,000 veterans in our region. Our excellent relationship with the VA gives our learners and faculty access to some of the most cutting-edge research and clinical care in the world.
Our interns spend one block in the Wake Forest Emergency Department providing care for medically oriented patients. ED upper-level residents and faculty teach our residents the skills to stabilize, triage, and transfer patients to the necessary level of care. Our ED has one of the few Level 1 Trauma designations in the state and also works closely with our accredited chest pain and stroke centers.
Night Float residents cover the hospital from 8pm to 8am Monday through Friday. Although this rotation may sound intimidating, it need not. Our residency program has an excellent onboarding program for our interns. Before residents begin their Night Float shifts, they have 3 months of buddy call with one of our experienced upper-level residents. Additionally, a second resident is always available in-house until midnight. Our residents consistently report that following this rotation they feel more prepared to be autonomous providers!
For the better part of the last decade, Wake Forest Baptist has proven its leadership in developing and delivering Telepsychiatry services to all 5 hospitals in our current network. Our residents learn from the best clinicians and IT specialists in the business of telemedicine as we work to expand psychiatry’s reach to underserved populations.
As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in February and March of 2020, our department led the way in the conversion of 100% of our outpatient services to virtual visits. We continue to have contingency plans in place for inpatient and outpatient psychiatry services to go virtual should this be necessary do to a coronavirus surge.
In 2012 Wake Forest made the decision to move our outpatient psychiatry operations to our current home on Jonestown Road. Our patients love the ease of parking, and our residents love the McKay’s Used Books next door. On the Jonestown (JT) Clinics rotations, PGY-1 & PGY-2 residents get their first experiences in Outpatient Psychiatry. Residents are able to select clinic rotations based on their interests in the field, including Women’s Mental Health, University Mental Health, and Wake Forest Student Health to name a few. There are also opportunities to attend group therapy meetings through our Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.
Our Consult-Liaison services have long been one of the great strengths of our training program and our department. These rotations focus on caring for patients with comorbid psychiatric and general medical conditions. Through this service line we offer our hospital system emergency department, medical floor, and telepsychiatry consult services with in-depth supervision by C/L fellowship trained faculty.
Child Inpatient Psychiatry
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital has long been respected as one of the great Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training sites in the Southeast. Residents work along-side our Child and Adolescent Fellows and ABPN-boarded child faculty to deliver inpatient care to patients under 18 years of age in our brand-new C&A inpatient unit on the main campus. This is an excellent opportunity for residents considering a C&A fellowship to test their calling and hone their skills.
12-Month Outpatient Continuity Clinics
In accordance with ACGME guidelines, our 3rd year of training provides residents with a full year of Outpatient Psychiatry allowing them to experience the continuity of being the primary psychiatrist for their census of patients. Although all patient care is supervised by faculty providers, residents are given increasing control over medication decisions and other aspects of the treatment plan throughout the year.
Didactic Curriculum and Education Hours
Our Didactic Curriculum consists of two parts:
- Crash Courses run for the first 12 weeks of each educational year (prior to the PRITE) and provide residents with on overview of the highest yield information in psychiatry. A specific focus is given to DSM-5 checklists and psychopharmacology to provide a firm foundation for more in depth study.
- Block Courses run on a 2-year schedule and provide a comprehensive look at specific psychiatric areas of study. Most block will run from 4-6 weeks with longer periods of time devoted to more complex topics.
Education Hours are held once a week and consist of Journal Club, Case Conference and Performance Improvement presentations. Residents are paired with faculty members to cover specific topics of clinical or educational interest.
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.