Department Chair, Training Director
Thank you for your interest in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Psychiatry Residency Training Program. The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences is composed of more than 60 full-time clinical faculty practicing in a general adult psychiatric services and a variety of specialty care areas including first episode psychosis, women’s health, gender and mental health, neuropsychiatry and neuromodulation. The department houses more than 60 research faculty with an annual research portfolio of nearly $10 million and vibrant programs in translational neuroscience, health disparities research and implementation sciences.
In addition to our residency program, we have ACGME-accredited fellowships in addiction psychiatry, consultation-liaison psychiatry, forensic psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry. The department is also home to robust clinical psychology master's and doctoral programs; see all our program offerings on our Education page. The breadth of clinical training programs contributes to a rich and multidisciplinary educational environment for our residents. Here we outline important aspects of psychiatry training at Northwestern including our guiding principles and values, educational philosophy and specialty tracks, all aimed at supporting our global vision:
“To train future leaders, educators and researchers in the field of psychiatry and prepare trainees to work within a variety of health systems to deliver evidence-based, multidisciplinary, compassionate care to diverse patient populations.”
- To provide a rigorous, comprehensive and rewarding training in psychiatry in a large urban tertiary care health system.
- To train and develop psychiatrists committed to evidence-based and compassionate care to patients from diverse backgrounds.
- To foster a supportive and inclusive training environment that supports individual career goals of residents.
- To utilize our specialty Research Track and Clinician Educator Track programs to prepare trainees for careers in academic psychiatry.
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) provides an outstanding infrastructure for education in psychiatry. As an urban tertiary care facility, we serve a diverse population and care for a broad range of patients with severe psychiatric illness providing an exceptional environment for rigorous and challenging training in psychiatry. Our program offers a four-year curriculum in general adult psychiatry aimed at preparing graduates for continuing specialty fellowship training and careers in clinical and academic psychiatry.
All residents complete training in internal medicine and neurology during their first six months of PGY-1 year. Residents may request to complete two months of pediatrics training at Lurie Children’s Hospital in place of two months of internal medicine at NMH. The remaining 18 months of the PGY-1 and PGY-2 years are dedicated to acute care training in psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Lurie Children’s Hospital. The PGY-3 and PGY-4 years are focus primarily on outpatient training in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, while residents explore career interests and develop areas of specialization. Real-time, small-group and individual supervision combined with graded autonomy form the key elements of clinical training. Elective experiences with our subspecialty clinics, fellowship and research programs and with our community partners allow residents to tailor their education to their interests and career goals. Learn more about the residency curriculum.
A central tenet of our program’s educational philosophy is the notion that excellent clinical training occurs via direct patient care experiences. We believe resident physicians should be primary providers for their patients. We believe in progressive independence of residents in the care of patients while providing supervision, mentoring and support tailored to individual needs. We believe didactic education, case-based learning and simulated experiences augment and bolster self-directed learning and practical clinical experiences. We support and promote residents as educators and believe the ability to teach a topic is the apex of mastery.
Our program offers a Research Track and Clinical Educator Track aimed to prepare residents for careers in academic psychiatry. Our Research Track, supported by an R25 award through the National Institute of Mental Health, is designed to prepare residents for careers as independent investigators in mental health research through dedicated mentoring, research support and career development opportunities tailored to individual experience and goals. Our newly created Clinical Educator Track aims to prepare residents for careers in undergraduate and graduate medical education through a series of specialized educational activities and scholarly projects aimed at developing skills in didactic education, curriculum development, implementation and dissemination, assessment and educational program evaluation. Learn more about specialty tracks.
Diversity, Inclusion & Wellness
We aim to recruit a diverse group of trainees in order to more closely reflect the patients we serve and promote equity in graduate medical education and improve the mental health of individuals from all backgrounds. We are committed to an inclusive training environment that welcomes and supports residents from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, nationalities, sexual orientations and gender identities. Caring for patients with mental illness is challenging but is also an immensely rewarding experience. Emotional wellness of residents is a critical to enable the rewarding aspects of medicine to continue to fuel our passion for our work. We have a number of important initiatives aimed at supporting residents during their training, including a residency wellness committee, social activities and wellness resources through McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University.
Our training program adheres to the foundational principle that, above all else, our patients come first. We value dedication, self-motivation and commitment to continuous self-improvement and lifelong learning. We value leadership in the service of others. We are united by the reality that only by understanding the unique backgrounds, experiences and challenges faced by our patients will we be successful in providing high-quality, effective and personalized care. We seek residents who share our values to join us in fulfilling our obligation to our community through clinical service and to advance knowledge in our field through research and education. Learn how to apply.
Please reach out to me or any member of our leadership team with questions.
—Sachin Patel, MD, PhD, Training Director