Didactic Courses


PGY1 and PGY2 residents have a weekly course devoted to general psychopathology. The course provides a broad overview of general diagnoses and important topics in psychiatry. The course covers mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis, dementia, and other diagnoses.



Residents receive didactic instruction in the major classes of psychotropic drugs, including efficacy and management of side effects. The course covers pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of antidepressants, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, and mood stabilizers.



Residents receive formal instruction in the history of psychotherapy and personality theory. The course covers the theoretical basis of various types of psychotherapy. PGY3 and PGY4 residents receive instruction in cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy, brief psychotherapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy. PGY2 residents begin an introductory course at the end of the academic year as they prepare to transition to the outpatient clinic.


Evidence-Based Medicine

PGY3 and PGY4 residents present a case and then locate a relevant review, meta-analysis, or primary data paper to present the following week. The group formulates a question to explore that would help in understanding the case and guiding treatment. Residents have an opportunity to explore search strategies for identifying relevant literature.


Journal Club

Residents present and critically evaluate scholarly papers from scholarly journals. Active participation and discussion is encouraged.


Research Design

PGY3 and PGY4 residents learn the basic principles of research design and research ethics. As part of the course, they are carrying out a small research study in the outpatient clinic. The current topic is early maltreatment and adult psychopathology.


PRITE Review

Under the guidance of the course leader, residents research PRITE questions and present their findings to their peers. This active learning approach allows residents to engage rather than passively read textbooks as they prepare for the PRITE exam.


Grand Rounds

Outside speakers are invited from hospitals in the Boston area and beyond to present a seminar on their area of expertise. The majority of the speakers come from Harvard affiliate hospitals. Recent topics have included psychiatric genetics, medical marijuana, treatment-resistant depression, women’s mental health, and autism spectrum disorders.


Case Conferences

A resident presents a case history and the patient is subsequently interviewed by an attending physician in a group setting. The session concludes with a discussion of the case and how to most effectively treat the patient.


Morbidity and Mortality (M&M)

Residents select a case that can be used as a learning experience for improving patient care in the future. The case is discussed confidentially among residents and attendings.


Other Didactic Sessions

Residents receive didactic training in neuropsychological testing, substance abuse, forensic psychiatry, child and adolescent development, geriatric psychiatry, and other topics. Courses are taught by core faculty or outside lecturers.


Online Learning Modules

Residents complete online modules on quality improvement, professionalism, residents as teachers, and other topics that are relevant to the ACGME core competencies. The institution subscribes to the programs designed by Tufts Healthcare Institute and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


Other Opportunities and Information



PGY3 and PGY4 residents have one hour of supervision in psychodynamic psychotherapy and one hour of supervision in cognitive behavioral therapy each week. Most residents are assigned to work with clinical psychologists from outside the hospital.



Residents are encouraged to pursue scholarly activities including chart reviews, case reports, surveys, and poster presentations. Residents also participate in quality improvement projects to ensure that they provide optimal care. PGY3 and PGY4 residents are participating in a scholarly project as part of their research design course.



Residents have an opportunity to teach medical students and physician assistant students. Tufts medical students complete their third year clerkship and PA students from Northeastern University and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences complete their psychiatry rotation in the department. Residents are also involved in a medical interviewing program for first year medical students from Tufts. Residents are actively involved in supervising students on the inpatient and consult services. Senior residents also have an opportunity to lead didactic sessions on core topics in psychiatry for interns and students.



Residents have an opportunity to attend conferences including the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting. Residents are allowed to use educational days to attend one conference of their choice.


Training in Psychoanalysis

Although the program does not have a form affiliation with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, many PGY4 residents choose to participate in their evening program to enhance their skills in psychoanalysis.


Call Schedule

Two residents are on call together each night. PGY1 residents who are not assigned to night float cover 12-hour weekend shifts (Saturday or Sunday day or Saturday night) two to four times per month. PGY1 residents also spend one month on the night float service. PGY2 residents cover one 24 hour weekend shift and three to four week nights each month. PGY3 residents typically cover one 24 hour weekend shift and two week nights each month. PGY4 residents take call only when additional coverage is needed. During the internal medicine rotation, interns are assigned to medicine call and are not included in the psychiatry call pool.


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