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All residents spend the first six months in medicine and neurology rotations. Residents may request to substitute two months of pediatrics at Ann & Robert Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in place of medicine. They then begin the psychiatry portion of the residency in January. The following three and a half uninterrupted years in psychiatry enhance the cohesiveness and integration of the educational experience. Thus, our psychiatric training year (PGY) runs from January through December, with the first semester defined as the six-month period from January to June and the second semester defined as July through December.

Didactic seminars, grand rounds and other organized teaching experiences, including monthly journal club with our department chairman, are held at Northwestern Memorial Hospital every Wednesday. Residents at all sites are excused from their clinical responsibilities to attend the full day of educational experiences.

For residents who have an MD/PhD or prior extensive research experience and are committed to a career as a physician-scientist, we offer a designated research track designed to maximize time and development of research interests during residency training.

Clinical Rotations

Download our sample clinical rotation schedule or browse by year below.


The first six months will be spent doing three months of internal medicine, one month of emergency medicine and two months of neurology. Residents can elect to substitute two months of pediatrics for two of their internal medicine months. In the second half of PGY-1 year, residents will spend time on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital inpatient psychiatry unit, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center inpatient psychiatry unit, consult-liaison psychiatry service at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the partial hospitalization program at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.


In the second year, residents will continue to spend time on inpatient psychiatry and consult liaison psychiatry rotations. The night float experience at Northwestern Memorial Hospital occurs during the second year of training. In the second half of the year, residents will obtain exposure to geriatric psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry on the consultation-liaison service, and emergency psychiatry. Residents will also get comprehensive training in the administration of ECT. There is a month elective opportunity in this year.


The third year will be spent primarily in a variety of outpatient clinics. In the Stone Mental Health Center, residents will have their own caseload of patients with onsite supervision of cases as needed. Residents will see patients for psychotherapy in this clinic. Residents will have two half day faculty-resident clinics, where they will focus in a specific sub-specialty area of training (including neuropsychiatry, women’s mental health, psychosis, treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety clinics). Residents will spend one half day a week at the VA obtaining experience in both addiction and community psychiatry.


Fourth-year residents will continue with a minimum of two half days continued outpatient work. The rest of PGY-4 will be spent in elective rotations both at Northwestern and at other sites of residents’ choosing, research or administrative experiences. Residents are required to complete both an administrative selective and they will spend one evening a week for six months at the Family Institute, where they will have family and couple's therapy cases with weekly supervision. 


Didactic Courses

Courses are held every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All trainees attend weekly resident meetings, grand rounds and the monthly journal club.

Download a sample didactic schedule for the first year of training.

Examples of didactic classes include:

  • PGY-1: History of Psychiatry, Introduction to Interviewing and Case Formulation, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Introduction to Psychopharmacology, Psychopathology, Emergency Psychiatry, Brain and Behavior, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • PGY-2:  Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Cultural Psychiatry and Social Determinants of Mental Health, Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Brain and Behavior, Forensic Psychiatry, Ethics
  • PGY-3: Character and Neurosis, Advanced Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology, Psychodynamic Psychiatry Case Conference, Adolescent Psychiatry, Group Psychotherapy and Process Group, Borderline Personality Disorder, Family and Marital Therapy
  • PGY-4: Professional Transitions, Advanced Psychopharmacology, Advanced Case Conference, Chronobiology

Academic Pathways/McGaw Clinical Scholars Programs

There are several scholarly programs available to all residents and fellows via McGaw Medical Center. The topics listed below are covered in our general curriculum, though residents interested in gaining further specialization in these areas may decide to participate in the programs listed. Each of the pathways are organized into structured didactics, workshops, and involve the development of team-based projects.

Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement (AQSI)

For residents interested in quality improvement, we offer participation in a 6-month professional development program providing didactic instruction on quality improvement and patient safety and participation in a multi-disciplinary project over the course of an academic year. Residents will have the opportunity to participate in hospital quality committees and projects.

Bioethics Clinical Scholars Program

McGaw offers a two-year program that focuses on theories of bioethics and application to clinical medicine. Participants in the program will complete didactics and workshops, develop an educational portfolio, and complete a scholarly project. Residents have the ability to rotate on the hospital’s ethics committee and ethics consultation service.

Medical Education Clinical Scholars Program

For residents interested in pursuing a clinician-educator academic track, we offer a two-year program dedicated to building teaching skills, reviewing teaching theories, and development of an educational project. Participants will have access to didactic and workshop series available to residents, fellows, and faculty. Residents will be aligned with a career mentor and produce an educational project for trainees.

Global Health Clinical Scholars Program

Residents that would like to learn more about global mental health have the opportunity to participate in a didactic and workshop-based training program that delivers training on how to deliver clinical care in resource-limited settings worldwide. The curriculum includes understanding health implications of travel, recognizing major determinants of health, providing culturally sensitive care, and developing health-focused scholarly work.

Health Equity and Advocacy Clinical Scholars Program

This is a two year program available to trainees designed to provide education on health equity and social determinants of health. Trainees will have extensive didactic experiences and will be aligned with a mentor to develop and implement a scholarly project. Participants will also gain knowledge in health care policy.

Contact Us

Contact Mia Reed, at 312-926-8058 for more information about the program.

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