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Chief Residents' Message

Welcome to Northwestern Psychiatry! It is quite an exciting time to be entering the field of psychiatry. Here at Northwestern, our goal is to provide a well-rounded program that will lay the groundwork for your career as a psychiatrist regardless of setting. 

Our department offers training no matter your proclivity. You will work with faculty who conduct basic science and translational research and participate in didactics run by lecturers who have practiced psychoanalysis or cognitive therapies for decades. In addition, you will have the opportunity to learn both in didactics and clinical rotations about special populations based on the diverse expertise of our attendings - women’s mental health, neuropsychiatry, psychosis - just to name a few. 

A defining feature of our program has always been the protected didactic day on Wednesdays. All residents meet for their individual class didactics, as well as a program-wide resident meeting. This allows us to extend our knowledge with the latest research in our field through monthly journal clubs, build more robust formulations by engaging in psychodynamic case conferences, and learn both the art and neurobiology of psychopharmacology using interactive, case-based sessions as well as traditional lectures. The full day didactics also help foster a sense of community among and between classes, as well as collect and implement feedback in real-time. 

Our core inpatient rotations are completed during the first two years. On our acute inpatient unit, you will see a wide breadth of psychopathology and therapies, from severe depression managed with ECT and clozapine titrations for refractory psychotic illness, to managing the art of countertransference with personality disorders. Our average patient population spans all socioeconomic classes, supplemented with an inpatient experience at our partner VA institution. As a part of our highly esteemed tertiary care facility, our consult-liaison service will allow you to explore the intersection of psychiatry with other complex medical conditions.

Our emergency psychiatry experience will help to hone your interview and risk assessment skills with patients with the most severe illnesses, and the independence offered on our night float service will help to jump-start your confidence in your clinical decision-making. By the time you hit outpatient services full time in the third year, you will feel comfortable in your skills and discover what comes naturally to you as a clinician. Fourth years offers further continuity in the outpatient setting as well as a plethora of electives spanning multiple sites. Your mentors and program directors will work with you weekly to help you find the career tailor-made for you. 

Outside of the program, you will have the luxury of exploring one of the greatest cities in the country—Chicago. As a city of neighborhoods, each with their own unique cultures, there are endless things to see and explore. 

We acknowledge that 2020 has been an especially trying year so far. The coronavirus pandemic has tested our physical and mental health while pushing our healthcare system to the limit. Despite the progress that has been made, there are numerous challenges that lie ahead. George Floyd’s murder has sparked a much needed nationwide call for reform in the criminal justice system and shone a light on the systemic racism in our country. As a department and program, we commit to antiracism in our workplace and in the care we provide to patients. The upcoming remote interview season will certainly be different, but we are convinced that the class of 2024 will be just as stellar as our previous graduates. 

We are thrilled to represent Northwestern Psychiatry as your chief residents for 2020-2021 and beyond excited to meet you.

Good luck, and best regards,

Bowie and Emma


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