The UT Southwestern Neurology/Psychiatry Combined Residency Program (NPCRP) curriculum was primarily resident-designed, with a goal of promoting integrated education and clinical experience for both specialties in tandem.
The PGY-1 year is comprised of a preliminary year in internal medicine, but with our own UT Southwestern flavor (including exposure to the Parkland Psychiatric Emergency Department and a one-month Neurology Bootcamp to prepare residents for call months and the junior rotations to come). PGY-2 through PGY-6 are dedicated entirely to neurology and psychiatry.
In PGY-2, there will be a near-equal distribution of rotations in either specialty, allowing residents to build competency in both realms before moving on to further integrate the two. Beyond PGY-2, the road diverges depending on whether one wishes to pursue the standard route, or a research track.
For those choosing the standard route, throughout training there will be enough consecutive time spent in each specialty to begin developing that particular specialty’s way of thinking. To balance this, every few months residents will switch and spend some time in the other specialty, fostering a dual-specialty mindset with integration throughout training.
Why is the program combined?
Historically, the fields of Neurology and Psychiatry were integrated, but have grown independently over the past several decades. However, given our ever-expanding knowledge of the brain, these specialties appear more connected than ever before (after all, they both originate in the same organ). Many physicians find themselves called to pursue both fields, and that is why we are here!
Is the combined program right for me?
Many people considering this route have wondered whether they should pursue a combined residency, a neurology residency with behavioral neurology fellowship, or a psychiatry residency followed by a neuropsychiatry fellowship. We hope to help make these distinctions a little clearer.
Combined Neurology/Psychiatry Residency
- 6 years:
- 1 year medicine prelim
- 5 years of combined residency
This route creates physicians boarded in both neurology and psychiatry, providing the broadest training of the options available. Graduates of these programs are able to see patients suffering from any neurologic or psychiatric illness, depending on their specialization. They are trained in psychopharmacology, psychotherapy, behavioral emergencies, and everything else that other psychiatrists learn, including diagnosis and management of mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, etc. In addition, they learn to interpret images of the CNS such as CT and MRI, become proficient in EEGs, and can manage neurologic conditions including epilepsy, demyelinating diseases, Movement Disorders, headaches, disorders of the PNS, etc. This training allows for the most flexibility in future practice options, and combined graduates have been shown to occupy a disproportionately high amount of administrative academic roles including department Chairs.
Residents in the NPCRP will spend their final year of residency as Chief of the combined program. The Chiefs are responsible for being a liaison for other residents in the program, working with the program directors, and helping ensure that things run smoothly in the program. This includes the development of resident schedules, working with the chiefs in the categorical neurology and psychiatry programs, helping with any disciplinary issues that arise, and fielding concerns. The Chief Year will teach administrative skills, and prepare residents for future leadership roles.
UT Southwestern is host to a vast array of fellowships in both neurology and psychiatry. Residents who decide to pursue post-residency training will have a wide variety of options available to them.
Fellowships at UT Southwestern include:
- Child & Adolescent
- Psychosomatic Medicine (Consult/Liaison)
- Forensic Psychiatry (in progress)
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Behavioral Neurology and Dementia
- Clinical Neurophysiology
- Epilepsy (Adult and pediatric)
- Headache Medicine
- Movement Disorders
- Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology/Neuro-Ophthalmology
- Neurocritical Care
- Sleep Medicine
- Vascular Neurology and Stroke
- Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology/Neuroendovascular Fellowship (through Radiology)
Psychiatry Residency/Neuropsychiatry Fellowship
- 5-6 years:
- 4 years psychiatry residency
- 1-2 years neuropsychiatry fellowship
This route creates psychiatrists that focus on conditions that have neuropsychiatric overlay. Generally, the more behavioral aspects of these conditions are addressed.
Neurology Residency to Behavioral Neurology Fellowship
- 5-6 years:
- 1 year medicine prelim
- 3 years neurology residency
- 1-2 years fellowship
This route creates neurologists that focus primarily on cognitive disorders and dementia. There are many neuropsychiatric manifestations that occur in these diseases, and patients will often have a multidisciplinary team including the Behavioral Neurologist, Geriatric Psychiatrist or Neuropsychiatrist, and others. It should be noted that psychiatry residency graduates may be accepted to some Behavioral Neurology programs. We have an excellent Behavioral Neurology and Dementia Fellowship here at UT Southwestern, run by Dr. Mary Quiceno (who is also the APD for the Combined Program).
It should be noted that many Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowships are now integrated. The programs that allow a second year of fellowship generally focus on providing a significant research experience to help develop careers in academia. Graduates of residency programs in both neurology and psychiatry are encouraged to apply.