The adult psychiatry training at the University of Minnesota is a traditional four-year program grounded in the medical identity of psychiatry and emphasizing the interplay of heredity and experience in producing mental disorders. Meet the Residency Program Director, Lora Wichser, MD.
Vision and Values
The mission of the Department of Psychiatry is to educate University of Minnesota medical students, residents, and fellows in the knowledge, skills and attitudes essential to the practice of psychiatry, to advance our understanding of the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders, and to serve residents of Minnesota through clinical expertise.
The mission of our residency training program is to impart the knowledge, skills and attitudes required of a general psychiatrist to sensitively meet the needs of our patients and the various disciplines we serve. Effective psychiatric practice requires a thorough grounding in both knowledge and clinical skills. Residents are encouraged to critically examine contemporary assumptions about the causes of behavior, as well as our methods of diagnosis and treatment. The University of Minnesota provides an opportunity to study with a knowledgeable faculty dedicated to excellence in clinical psychiatry, education, and research.
As teachers, our faculty members are committed to a training program that directly links psychiatry to medicine, yet emphasizes the unique features of psychiatry. Our residency program stresses integration of the genetic, experiential, and ecological factors relevant to all disorders. This orientation is one in which established theories and empirical studies are presented and critically re-examined in the light of new data and ideas. Throughout the training program, our central aim is to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes through the care and study of patients, while under close faculty supervision.
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences condemns racism, discrimination, and oppression in all forms. We affirm that racism and oppression are public health crises with serious mental health consequences for the communities we serve.
We commit to listen to and promote Black, Indigenous and people of color. We also commit to amplify their calls for change. We have work to do. We are part of a system that has allowed racial disparities in medical outcomes to persist for far too long.
Our work is guided by the following principles:
Amplify the voices of those most directly affected by racism and oppression to restore justice. Racism and oppression are not their responsibility to solve; the responsibility to dismantle racism falls on those who have benefited from it
Ensure a just, equitable, and inclusive educational, clinical, and research environment. Our Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s mission statement and ongoing initiatives address diversity in all forms as the path to excellence in each of our mission areas
Take all needed steps to identify and dismantle unjust and inequitable systems, as individuals and collectively. This includes systems of white supremacy, a political or socioeconomic system in which white people benefit from a structural advantage (privilege) over other ethnic groups, on both a collective and individual level, and other forms of oppression and discrimination within our medical school, our university, and society at large.
In line with these departmental principles, the UMN Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Education Council commits to the following actions:
Lead and engage in national conversations on racial justice and the dismantlement of systems of white supremacy in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences based on what we have learned by listening to Black, Indigenous, and people of color in Minnesota following the killing of George Floyd as a result of police brutality by former members of the Minneapolis Police Department. Additionally, we will author and post a statement naming George Floyd and summarizing these perspectives.
Affirm and broadcast our anti-racism statement and action steps on our websites, social media accounts, and other internal and external communications
Implement the curriculum developed by the American Psychiatric Association Black Caucus, entitled, “Stress and Trauma Toolkit: for Treating Historically Marginalized Populations in a Changing Political and Social Environment” in Departmental graduate medical education programs
Engage in proactive outreach, support, and mentorship of Black, Indigenous, and people of color, including current trainees, matched trainees and applicants engaged in the recruitment process
Use the lens of diversity as a driving factor during recruitment and applicant ranking activities, utilizing best practices as outlined by the Department’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
2020 Application Cycle
Because of complexities related to the COVID pandemic, this year’s application cycle may be particularly stressful for our medical student applicants. We are here to support you in every way we can and would like to offer clear, transparent guidelines about our recruitment process. Our program commits to following our national organization's recommendations for the 2020-2021 interview season.
- We offer a limited number of interviews relative to the number of positions that we have available. We will NOT offer more interviews than interview slots available. As a result, applicants will have 72 hours to either accept or decline an interview
- We require only one letter of recommendation from a psychiatrist
- All interviews will be conducted onlinefor the entire interview season, including those for local trainees. Our interviews will be structured to respect the trainee’s time, including proper notice and consolidation of meetings
- We will also offer virtual opportunities to meet our current residents and view our facilities. All applicants are invited to follow our residency program’s Twitter account @UMNPsychRes for updates. These opportunities will also be communicated to applicants prior to interview day via our website/email
- We commit to holistically reviewing all applicants with an understanding of the complexity the pandemic has introduced
- We commit to equitable and antiracist practices. We recognize that historically marginalized applicants are potentially experiencing an even greater degree of the burden associated with the current state of affairs
- Uncertainty about the future can cause intolerable anxiety. It is our joy and our commitment to you to ensure that you are as successful as possible this interview season. We are here to address any concerns that you may have, big or small. Please do not hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about managing intolerable anxiety, we recommend this podcast developed by our Vice Chair for Education, Dr. Kaz Nelson.
September 2020 Virtual Residency Fair
Scroll down for Zoom registration link.
The purpose of the research track at the University of Minnesota Psychiatry Residency Program is to train the next generation of psychiatrists focused on pushing the boundaries of psychiatry through world-class research. Psychiatry is at a critical threshold, one in which the current models of psychopathology, nosology, and clinical decision-making are about to undergo a significant disruption. This disruption will result from a deeper understanding of neuroplasticity processes in health and disease, and to facilitate this advancement of the field we require an exceptionally trained workforce.
Students with strong research backgrounds and interests who enter psychiatry residency training face difficult decisions with regard to continuing their research goals. Few residencies feature a formal research program that facilitates the junior researcher’s path to achieve independence. Without such a program, each potential candidate must face the nearly impossible task of building a research training curriculum while still completing all of their clinical training requirements. Thus our research track was created to facilitate the uninterrupted development of early career physician-scientists without a long hiatus from research.
In consulting with active physician researchers, we found that the greatest limitations in successful research endeavors during residency were a lack of protected time and mentorship. Subsequently we have created one of the most generous research schedules, especially early in residency. This allows the trainee to lay the foundation for their research program early, allowing for more substantial and successful outcomes over the course of their training. We focus on fostering a strong mentor relationship to guide residents to becoming independent researchers.
Capitalizing on the current research and teaching strengths in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, we have a rich transdisciplinary research environment at the University of Minnesota. Resources include our active partnership with the Graduate Program in Neuroscience, well-developed cross-departmental research and training programs in neuromodulation, neuroplasticity, and computational neuroscience; a strong research training landscape throughout the university, including a recently renewed NIH Clinical Translational Science Award; internationally recognized neuroimaging, neuro-engineering, and health informatics expertise; and ongoing University and state legislative funding in support of basic and translational research in high-field brain imaging, neuromodulation, and addiction neuroscience.
The psychiatry inpatient teams are called Blue, Green, Gold, and Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The Blue and Green teams work primarily with patients suffering from a Psychotic Illness. The Gold team works primarily with patients suffering from Mood Disorders and Chemical Dependency. The Psychiatric ICU serves patients with high acuity mental health issues. UMMC Riverside is also home to the Behavioral Emergency Center (a dedicated psychiatric emergency room for children, adolescents, and adults), inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP), and a CAP partial hospitalization program.
Outpatient psychotherapy, beginning in PGY2, is located on the UMMC Riverside Campus. Residents will also rotate through specialized services here such as ECT and Chemical Dependency.
Masonic Children's Hospital
The University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital hosts the Pediatrics rotation intern year. Residents serve on the General Pediatrics Team which consists of an attending physician, a senior resident, a pediatrics intern, and up to 2 medical students. The number of patients residents see daily depends on the season, generally ranging from 5-20.
Masonic is also the site of the Adolescent Dual Diagnosis (Mental Illness and Chemical Dependency) inpatient unit.
VA Medical Center
While at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System residents work on Unit 1K during the inpatient Psychiatry experience. VA teams consist of an attending physician, 1-2 medical students, a case manager and rotating nurses. The team manages 8 patients at a time.
During the Internal Medicine experience at the VA, residents work with an attending physician on a Hospitalist service with an occasional medical student. The team manages up to 10-16 patients with a variety of health issues.
Interns also complete their Neurology requirement at the VA. Residents are part of the Neurology Consult team with 1-2 senior Neurology residents and 2-3 medical students. Psychiatry interns typically see 1-2 Neurology clinic patients per day in addition to inpatient consults.
After intern year residents return to the VA for electives in Geropsychiatry and Consult/Liaison in PGY2. Residents also complete 24 hour call shifts at the VA their second year. Multiple elective opportunities are offered at the VA for PGY3 and PGY4 residents (see “Electives.”)
ARTC and St. Peter State Hospital
Residents complete their Forensic Psychiatry rotation at the Anoka Regional Treatment Center (ARTC) and St. Peter State Hospital, as well as through the Hennepin Country Court System. The ARTC is a 200-bed psychiatric hospital located in Anoka, Minnesota (approximately 45 minutes north of the Twin Cities) for patients with severe mental illness. Located near Mankato, Minnesota (approximately 75 minutes west of the Twin Cities), the St. Peter State Hospital is a 360-bed hospital for patients with severe mental illness and/or patients deemed to be extremely dangerous.
Located in St. Louis Park (approximately 15 minutes west of the Twin Cities), the Mental Health Neuromodulation Clinic is a state-of-the-art facility for treatment resistant depression. Residents have the opportunity to work with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), ketamine, ECT, and vagus nerve stimulation while working on an interdisciplinary team of Family Medicine, Neurology, and Psychiatry physicians.
Residents have the opportunity to rotate through various clinics and services for community, public, and integrative psychiatry exposure.
The Community University Health Care Center (CUHCC) is a federally qualified health care center specializing in integrative primary care center that largely serves the Hmong, Somali, and Native American populations of Hennepin County. The clinic offers medical, dental, mental health, advocacy, legal, and other programs. Further integrative care opportunities are available through the Fairview Integrated Primary Care Clinic on the UMMC Riverside Campus or various Fairview Primary Care clinics (e.g. Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic.)
Residents who would like exposure to Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) services have the opportunity to rotate with Guild Assertive Treatment Services based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Exposure to private mental health care systems such as Prairie Care and Canvas Health are also available.
Salary And Benefits
Salary And Benefits
- 15 days per year (PGY1 and 2)
- 20 days per year (PGY3 and 4)
- Sick Days: 10 days per year
- Conference Days: 5 days per year (can be used for Step/COMLEX/Board prep)
- Salary (UMN GME 2019-2020)
- PGY1: 55,762
- PGY2: 57,478
- PGY3: 59,456
- PGY4: 61,580
- Conference Travel Fund: up to $1000 in grant support for academic conference participation (travel, registration fees, lodging, and/or transportation) for residents presenting at local, regional, or national conferences.
- Book Fund
- PGY1: $350 per year
- PGY2 – 4: $100 per year
- White coats provided with free dry cleaning at the VA
- Meal cards provided for inpatient rotations
- UMMC ($900/year)
- VAMC ($75/month)
- Parking is free at both the UMMC and VAMC
- Medical, dental, disability and life insurance are offered thought the University of Minnesota GME Office in addition to optional flexible spending accounts and voluntary retirement options. For more information on UMN GME benefits please go to: https://shb.umn.edu/health-plans/rfi
This program has three goals:
1) Facilitate the rapid transition of psychiatric physician-scientists to independent investigator status, knowing talented young MD researchers can be discouraged by lengthy clinical training that disrupts their scientific development.
2) Leverage the research infrastructure of the University of Minnesota to provide the best possible research training environment.
3) Increase the number and diversity of highly qualified psychiatric physician-scientists.
Program Faculty and Staff
VA Training Programs Coordinator