Chiefs Letter

Dear Prospective Resident,

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the UT Southwestern Psychiatry Residency Program! We remember the excitement and stress of choosing the best residency program. We want to share with you our experiences as residents and the unique opportunities available at UT Southwestern.

Our program is best known for its diverse clinical opportunities, world-class research, and an emphasis on high-quality psychotherapy training. You will receive robust and well-rounded training in core aspects of psychiatry. We primarily train in acute care and outpatient settings in three main clinical systems: Parkland (our county hospital system), UT Southwestern (including William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital), and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. All our residents also rotate through Children’s Medical Center, Metrocare (our community mental health service), and the Dallas County Jail. In addition, elective opportunities exist in the community at more unique training sites, such as Terrell State Hospital. Through these various systems, we get exposure to patients from a wide array of backgrounds and a vast breadth of psychopathology. We get exposure to multiple treatment modalities, from a wide range of medications, to various psychotherapy modalities, to cutting-edge interventional treatments, such as intranasal ketamine, transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, and magnetic seizure therapy. And, in the COVID-19 pandemic, our residents have become proficient at telepsychiatry in multiple settings. Our experiences in training with a diverse patient population, with multiple treatment modalities, and in different clinical systems equips us with skills to work with patients from many walks of life and to serve the underserved.

In addition, our program places an emphasis on excellent psychotherapy training. Psychotherapy training takes place in postgraduate years (PGY) 2-4. Over these three years, you will receive training in and be able to practice psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and supportive psychotherapy. You may also gain experience in other therapy modalities (e.g. dialectical behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy [ACT]) through our electives. You will have multiple supervisors—seasoned clinicians and eager teachers with multiple areas of expertise and experience in academics and private practice—who will help you develop your skills as a therapist. A unique aspect of our program is that every resident also has the opportunity to do group therapy, which provides an incredible learning experience into group dynamics. The skills we develop through psychotherapy training are integral and transformative in the ways we are able to better understand and heal our patients.

While we offer a robust core curriculum, we also pride ourselves on the flexibility in customizing our training. Every resident has a unique background and aspirations, and we provide opportunities to develop these various interests. There are many opportunities for electives in the PGY3 and PGY4 years in multiple practice settings. Our electives include addictions consults, women’s mental health, treatment resistant depression clinic, ACT psychotherapy, forensics, a private practice elective, and much more. In addition, we also have seven areas of concentration (educator; global and cultural psychiatry; interventional psychiatry; mental health, policy, and law; psychotherapy; transitional age youth; and women’s mental health) that allow for mentorship and unique clinical and scholarly experiences in a particular field of interest. At UT Southwestern, we also have all the psychiatry fellowships accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, so it is very easy to get connected with someone from any subspecialty. Our residency mentorship program also aims to connect every trainee with a faculty mentor during training to help trainees achieve their specific career goals. And if you do not find your specific area of interest in all the opportunities above, the program leadership is very open to helping you develop a new learning experience tailored to you. We are committed to ensuring you have all the foundational skills to become a great psychiatrist, as well as the opportunities to develop unique skillsets that will set you apart as you set out on your career.

The journey to becoming a physician and a psychiatrist can be both incredibly rewarding and very challenging. At our program, we are committed to a culture of support. Our program motto is “never worry alone,” and the program leadership, attendings, chief residents and class representatives, and co-residents are always here for you. Our Psychiatry Residency Organization (PRO) hosts various social events throughout the year, and our Families program matches you in a smaller group of residents with two faculty mentors. Though our program is large, we aim to make it feel small and connected.

In addition, we are committed to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Our patients come from many walks of life, and so do our residents. We are committed to creating a community that is inclusive and welcoming of residents from all backgrounds (race, gender identity, sexuality, socioeconomic status, etc.). We have a robust DEI and LGBTQ committee in our residency, as well as resident involvement in department DEI committees. Our DEI Committee is very active within the residency, with activities including, but not limited to, hosting process groups in the wake of significant events and engaging in advocacy throughout the community. We have redesigned the cultural psychiatry curriculum in our residency didactics and also have opportunities to engage with medical students in the anti-racism workshop through their clerkship. We believe that we can learn and grow from each other’s backgrounds and the ways each of us see and experience the world.

We are excited that you are considering UT Southwestern for your residency training. We are proud to be UT Southwestern residents and would love to have you join our family. We cannot wait to learn more about you in your application and to meet you during one of our interview days. If you have any questions about our program, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We wish you all the best in your interview season!

Bernice Yau, Neema Khonsari, Matthew Yung
Psychiatry Chiefs 2022-2023