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Psychiatry

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Psychiatry Residency Program
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Psychiatry Residency Program

Overview

The Ponce School of Medicine Psychiatry Residency Program offers a general psychiatry-training program that prepares residents for the broad practice of contemporary hospital, federal hospital, and academic and private practice psychiatry. Our educational framework builds on the understanding that a person is a composite of mind, brain, body and environment. We organize and synthesize all treatment approaches according to this Biopsychosocial perspective.

The four-year program accepts four (4) residents each year. The resident-to-staff ratio is high, and individual clinical supervision is emphasized. Clinical rotations are carefully coordinated between the campuses of the San Juan VA Hospital of the VA Caribbean Healthcare system and the Ponce School of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals and clinics. The Ponce School of Medicine is affiliated with several private public and federal hospitals. The VA Caribbean Healthcare services include a Veterans Administration General Hospital in San Juan, with a well-established Psychiatry Service; the First Hospital Panamericano is a private psychiatric hospital with many subspecialty programs. The Dr. Pila’s, Loiza Health Center and Hospital San Lucas are private hospitals in which the family medicine, internal medicine and/or pediatrics rotations will be offered. The Ponce School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry has developed in the Mayaguez area an Outpatient Mental health Clinics (Ponce healthcare services). We also have contract with a Child an Adolescent (government own clinic) where child and adolescent rotation is established in conjunction with PSM Child and Adolescent Fellowship program-ACGME accredited. Residents are provided the rich array of clinical experience through the combination and diversity of clinical opportunities at the above-mentioned institutions.

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Education
 

Throughout the entire four-year program, considerable time is spent by the resident in organized instruction, including seminars, teaching conferences by the faculty and visiting lecturers, continuous case conferences, a Journal Club, and two hours per week of individual supervision increasing steadily up to five to six hours per week. There is supervision both in group therapy as well as in the outpatient clinic by members of the faculty. The methods of therapy include pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy-dynamically-oriented, as well as brief, cognitive, and supportive individual and group psychotherapy. Appointments to the House Staff are made yearly. Advancement to a higher level depends upon the satisfactory completion of work done in the preceding year. The ACGME (Accredited Council of Graduate Medical Education) requires that all residents have 6 core competencies which include: Patient care; Medical Knowledge; Professionalism; System Based; Interpersonal Communication and skills; Practice base learning and improvement. Our residency not only evaluates patient in base of these competencies but also in the psychotherapies including pharmacotherapy.

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Application Process
 

The application is made for PGY-I positions, only through ERAS. US graduates may do this through their medical school and international graduates can do so through ECFMG. Documentation should include the ERAS Application Form, a personal statement C.V., valid ECFMG certificate (if appropriate), and/or license (if appropriate)) A transcript of medical school grades is required as well as an official statement of the applicant’s record, and two letters of reference from those who are best qualified to document the applicant’s ability and experiences. Transcripts and references are provided through ERAS. All those applying for PGY-I positions must be in the NRMP match. There is a requirement for Parts 1 and 2(cs/ck) of the USMLE. (Scores will be considered in interview selection). For international or foreign applicants there is a requirement that all applicants must have one full year US hospital clinical experience. Proficiency in Spanish and English language skills are a crucial requirement. Other requirements may apply at the discretion of the selection committee.

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Faculty
 

The faculty members who are engaged in teaching residents, interns and medical students include full-time and part-time psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, social scientists, and voluntary clinical faculty members; the latter are almost entirely psychiatrists. The attending faculty gives, on average, a minimum of two hours per week in teaching assignments to the graduate teaching programs.

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Facilities
 
There are two main primary training facilities. The first two year are mostly spent in the VACHS- San Juan VA Hospital, offering a wide range of mental health services including inpatient/psychosomatic medicine(-C/L), addiction therapy clinics among others. There is a stabilization unit for psychiatric emergencies, adult inpatient units, partial hospitalization program and an adult outpatient clinic. The second main training facility is the PSM health -Psychiatry Ambulatory clinic. This is a Community Mental Health Outpatient Clinic based in Mayaguez, which provides experience in outpatient managed care with adult/child patients. The child and adolescent rotation is complemented in Mayaguez ASMCA facilities in conjunction with PSM child & Adolescent Fellows (ACGME Approved fellowship) . The ECT experience will be provided in SAN Juan VA Hospital. The Forensic experience will be done in the outpatient clinics as per assignment by our forensic psychiatrist whom is board certified in Forensic Psychiatry.

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