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Rural and Public Mental Health Track

The Rural and Public Mental Health Track prepares residents to serve in the most underserved areas of our country and develop expertise in the technology and the health care policy relevant to this work. Throughout the US, and within the state of Texas, rural communities have both profound shortages of psychiatrists and logistical barriers to accessing care. At UTSW, we developed the RPMH with the goal of training psychiatrists to serve rural communities. This track provides opportunities in public mental health systems, integrated care paradigms, telepsychiatry and related technologies, and public mental health policy. Our graduates will provide both direct care to rural communities and statewide leadership in rural mental health.

Track Structure

PGY1 and PGY2 – RPMH track residents will be based in Dallas during their first 2 years of training, completing core general program rotations within the UTSW affiliated institutions, including the public mental health experiences through Parkland Hospital and Metrocare. Track residents will complete 1-2 inpatient psychiatry rotations and 1-2 outpatient mental health rotations in a rural setting within reasonable driving distance from Dallas.

PGY3 and PGY4 – RPMH track residents will spend much of their time in PGY3 and 4 years practicing in a rural outpatient setting, providing telepsychiatry and integrated care services to remote clinics. Residents will be housed in rural locations, further integrating them into these communities. RPMH residents will also have the opportunity to work with state public mental health leadership in research and QI projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When do residents join the track?
A. Residents apply through ERAS specifically to match into the RPMH track.

Q. Can residents join the track and still fast track into child psychiatry?
A. Yes, we strongly encourage applicants who wish to practice Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in rural settings to apply for the RPMH track. As with general program residents who wish to fast track into CAP fellowship, we will prioritize completion of general program requirements within the PGY1-3 year.

Q. How can I get more information?
A. Please contact the track director, Lindsey Pershern, M.D., Lindsey.Pershern@UTSouthwestern.edu