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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What experiences during medical school will prepare me to be a psychiatrist?

Medical schools vary in their approach to teaching psychiatry during the clinical years. Clinical rotations in psychiatry during the fourth year, such as a psychiatry sub-internship or elective rotation can be useful for delineating interests. We encourage students to have diverse and fundamental rotations, including experience with general internal medicine and the medicine subspecialties, cardiology and endocrinology. Students are encouraged to have the fundamental basics related to medicine, neurology, and emergency care in addition to psychiatry, during the third and fourth years of medical school.

2. What qualities are you looking for in resident applicants?

We aim to identify candidates with a strong potential to become excellent psychiatrists. Characteristics among prospective applicants, such as good interpersonal and communication skills; professional integrity; flexibility and open-mindedness in approach to solving problems; and clinical aptitude are viewed as fundamentally important. Our curriculum is designed to build upon these and other pivotal skills inherent to the doctor-patient relationship. We look for applicants with a broad array of interests and aiming to achieve balance in their personal and professional lives.

3. What is the accreditation status of the residency?

The residency program maintains continued accreditation by the ACGME and is approved for a total of 32 residents.

4. How does the OSU psychiatry program prepare residents for board examinations?

We are highly committed to preparing all of our residents to be successful in all professional endeavors, especially both components of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology (ABPN) examinations. Our educational curriculum is not only rigorous but also a priority and includes yearly emphasis on core texts and scholarly works, neurology review, PRITE examinations, psychotherapy courses, and evidence-based medicine. In addition, the program conducts semi-annual clinical skills assessments using the format of oral boards and faculty with experience administering or successfully completing the ABPN examinations. The program also assesses the interviewing skills of the residents in accordance with ABPN and RRC guidelines.

5. How do OSU psychiatry residents perform on ABPN examinations?

Our graduates have a long-standing history of performing very well on both the written (Part 1) and oral (Part 2) components of the ABPN examinations. Our passage rate is above the national average, with the most recent data indicating that 100% of first-time takers successfully completed these examinations at their first eligibility for administration.

6. What is the on-call experience like at OSU?

The program utilizes a night float system, in which resident rotate to serve as the designated night float resident. The shifts for night float are generally from 6 pm until 7 am for 3-4 consecutive nights. While on the night float rotation, it is the residents exclusive focus; that is, residents are not assigned additional clinical responsibilities when these duties are complete. On weekends, other residents are rotationally assigned to work the day shift of 7 am until 6 pm.

A faculty supervisor is available on site nightly during part of each shift to provide supervision to residents assigned to this service. Two faculty members, one from the general adult program and another from the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provide supervisory oversight.

During interview season, you will have the opportunity to meet with several residents and hear directly from them about their experiences on call and with night float. Despite the usual demands and busy pace of working at night and on weekends, residents describe call as an invaluable learning experience. They express that call is extremely helpful with developing their skills as diagnosticians and decision-makers and exposing them to a highly varied and diverse clinical population.

In addition to the night float or on call resident, we have a second resident assigned to work weekdays until 7:30 pm and mental health clinicians that work 24/7 to assist in patient care. These clinicians are invaluable resources to residents and patients by helping facilitate admissions and discharges; coordinating insurance and payment arrangements; obtaining collateral information; and assisting with the various social, logistical, and unanticipated aspects of the psychiatric assessment and disposition process.

As new residents are acclimating to the call experience, more senior residents are assigned to work with them and provide guidance and oversight. Residents work collaboratively to address patient care issues that emerge. In addition, all on call and night float experiences are psychiatry calls, even while rotating on non-psychiatry services.

7. What opportunities do graduates of the program pursue after completion of their training?

Our graduates feel well-prepared and confident to embark upon any number of professional opportunities after completing residency. Our graduates are highly competitive and have recently participated in fellowships throughout the nation in the areas of addiction, child & adolescent, and forensic psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. Others select clinical practice opportunities in academic, community, and public sites around the nation; those that choose to remain in the area often maintain their involvement as faculty in various departmental educational activities and programs.

8. What fellowship opportunities are offered at OSU to psychiatry residents?

There are four fellowship opportunities at OSU available to psychiatry residents. OSU and Twin Valley Behavioral Health offer a one-year accredited fellowship in forensic psychiatry. Fellowship opportunities are offered in Sleep Medicine, Pain and Palliative Medicine through the OSU Department of Internal Medicine, and in Pain Management by the Department of Anesthesiology.

The program is also considering creating additional fellowship opportunities, especially in the areas of psychosomatic medicine, and addiction psychiatry.

9. Are there opportunities during residency to pursue research or special interests?

Research is not a requirement of the residency program; however, many residents elect to pursue research or other scholarly projects during residency. Residents have had their research published and have presented at national and international meetings. Additionally, some residents have elected to pursue other opportunities offered by the department, such as advanced training in cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Our residents have received national honors, such as the APA/Shire Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and APA/SAMSA Minority Fellowship for Substance Use, and participated in these activities during residency. Residents with DO degrees may choose to fulfill requirements of the American Osteopathic Association Rotating Internship. All residents are encouraged to explore various aspects of psychiatry, by working with the program director to discuss career and professional interests and develop related experiences.

10. What changes with the residency are anticipated in the coming years?

It is the mission of the Department to educate residents to be fundamentally prepared to enter the profession of psychiatry and serve in any number of clinical, academic, research, or community settings. We strive to continue to improve the quality of the residency by offering a supportive, responsive, and collegial environment and educationally fruitful experiences that keep pace with requirements of the RRC and ABPN. No changes with the leadership of the residency are anticipated in the coming years; however, we will continue to strive to produce high quality learning experiences.

11. Are there any new initiatives within the training program?

The Department of Psychiatry is strengthening its commitment with community partners through the mission to develop a Division of Public Psychiatry. This educational initiative is designed to prepare psychiatrists-in-training for effective and satisfying roles within the community mental health system. Community clinical experiences for residents occur during the second and fourth postgraduate years. Community elective rotations are readily available, including options for involvement in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams and providing care at the homeless shelter via the mobile crisis van.

The program offers lectures about public and community psychiatry to residents at all levels of training. Community psychiatry across the life span is presented with a focus on the following: systems of care, leadership and collaboration as part of a community treatment team, evidence-based community mental health practices, recovery philosophy, integration of physical and mental health care, advocacy, family involvement, forensic issues, psychosocial and medical treatment of severe and persisting mental illnesses, and patient-centered care.

We are also excited about our growing involvement with our community affiliate sites, Twin Valley Behavioral Health and the Veterans Administration. Residents are pleased with the increasing opportunities to work in these settings, as the sites offer a rich breadth of clinical and educational experiences. Our number of auxiliary faculty at each site continues to grow.

12. What are some of the advantages of OSU vs. other sites for psychiatry residency?

At OSU, we are firmly committed to both your personal and professional growth and well-being. We recognize that the intensity and demands of learning with any residency can be quite challenging, but also rewarding. We strive to instill among our residents a sense of balance between their personal and professional roles by attending to duty hours, granting four weeks of vacation time plus additional educational leave, and responding compassionately to concerns brought forth by residents. Many residents compliment the constructive and interactive stance of the residency in a variety of matters.

The residency program at OSU is fundamentally interested in training residents to have outstanding clinical and professional attributes. We strive to teach residents to develop leadership and character in order to capably perform in diverse multidisciplinary settings and meet the challenges of the dynamic health care profession. As part of these efforts, our residency has developed and is utilizing an innovative competency-based activity and monitoring program. This tool enhances our ability to determine that trainees have mastered identified skills at each level of their postgraduate experience and are ready to continue their lifelong professional journey.

13. Are there moonlighting opportunities available?

Yes, the program has internal moonlighting opportunities available for residents.  Senior residents also may participate in moonlighting opportunities in the Columbus area. The program recognizes that moonlighting can be a lucrative and clinically valuable endeavor to enable residents to develop and practice clinical skills. The program has a moonlighting policy which includes consideration of duty hours, licensure, and other circumstances.

14. What is our philosophy on diversity?

At OSU we believe a diverse population enriches the educational experience of all our trainees, and we know that clinicians from groups underrepresented in medicine and biomedical sciences are key health care providers for our nation’s underserved population. Columbus, Ohio is the fifteenth largest city in the United States and boasts an increasingly diverse population which includes representation of 134 nations speaking 105 languages. Read more about the diversity mission and vision of The Ohio State University Medical Center here.