Curriculum & Schedules

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Residents have protected didactic time one afternoon per week (1-4pm). Didactics are offered in 12-week blocks with reserved time for a “combined conference” every month during which residents across all four years have the opportunity to present journal articles to one another, lead scholarly discussions, and socialize.


First-year didactics focus on fundamental knowledge and include sessions on the Introduction to Psychiatric Care, Introduction to Residency, Practice, Clinical Skills, Major Depression Treatment, Integrative Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Consult-Liaison, Normal Human Development, Child Disorders and Treatment, as well as Quality Improvement. Fundamentals of psychopharmacology are also introduced.


Second-year didactics continue to continue to focus more deeply on specific domains of psychiatry such as Forensics, Cultural Psychiatry, Personality Disorders, Sexuality, and Spirituality. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy skills, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy theory, and Family Therapy are covered in the PGY-2 year. Specialized psychopharmacology topics are also taught


Third year didactics continue education in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in preparation for the outpatient year. Other topics covered include Public Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, and Psychiatry & Ethics.    


The final year of training includes didactic sessions focused on preparing for board certification and transitioning to practice after residency, as well as Advanced Psychopharmacology topics.


As a resident, you may choose to engage in clinical electives in a number of specialized areas and sites:

  • Addiction (UMMC or VA)
  • Center for Sexual Health (UMMC)
  • Community-based Ambulatory Psychiatry (CUHCC, various community and rural sites)
  • Consult-Liaison (multiples sites including Primary Care and OB clinics)
  • ECT (UMMC)
  • Geropsychiatry (VA)
  • Neuromodulation/Interventional Psychiatry
  • Palliative Care
  • Perinatal Psychiatry (Hennepin County Medical Center or Abbott Northwestern Hospital)
  • Primary Care/Mental Health Integration (VA)
  • PTSD (VA)
  • Public/Forensic (Anoka or St. Peter)
  • Sleep Medicine (VA)
  • Psychotherapy
    • Family Psychoeducation
    • Family Therapy, Anxiety Interventions
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Cognitive Processing
    • Prolonged Exposure
    • Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy
    • Motivational Interviewing
    • DBT

Psychotherapy Training

We are committed to offering a strong education program in evidence-based psychotherapies. We emphasize that all of the interactions we have with our patients are an important ground for learning about and applying psychotherapeutic principles. 


PGY2s begin their psychotherapy training in clinic, learning Supportive Psychotherapy one afternoon per week. Psychotherapy didactics during PGY-2 include:

  • Introduction to Psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic Theory
  • Family Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (with optional weekly study group)
  • Cultural Competency
  • Spirituality


PGY3 residents carry a minimum of two Psychodynamic Psychotherapy patients during the year, in addition to one Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) patient, multiple medical management patients with a CBT focus, and one Family Therapy case. In-depth training in Motivational Interviewing occurs throughout the year. Residents are also required to complete a four-month Group Psychotherapy rotation. Additional training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are also offered. Weekly individual supervision is provided for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and CBT patients as well as during Family and Group Therapy rotations; group supervision is provided for Motivational Interviewing.  Additional supervision can be arranged for DBT and IPT as well.


In the PGY4 year, Supportive, Psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, IPT and Motivational Interviewing cases continue (2-6+ hours per week) with weekly supervision throughout the year. PGY4s may also pursue a range of additional psychotherapy elective experiences.

Scholarly Work

As a resident, you will have the opportunity to participate in both required and optional scholarly work.

Required: all PGY2s are required to present during VA Grand Rounds, and all residents will be required to participate in our Quality Improvement curriculum and to help complete one team QI project. All residents will also be asked to participate at least once during their residency in our Morbidity and Mortality conference. By the end of your PGY4 year, you will be asked to complete one other scholarly work that reflects your chosen individualized learning path and/or area of focus. This could include preparation of a poster to present at a regional or national meeting, a local or regional presentation or talk, a journal article, etc.

Optional: we have multiple opportunities for teaching medical students and engaging in near-peer mentoring on many of your rotations. For those of you with research interests or who are committed to the Research Track, you will work with your research mentors to plan for and develop additional scholarly projects.

Leadership Opportunities

A key goal of our residency program is to support the development of future psychiatric leaders for Minnesota and beyond. We are always eager to learn about your leadership goals and to develop individualized opportunities for you to grow these skills.   

Thread Leads: PGY-2 residents can apply for a leadership role, working with a faculty mentor, to pursue programmatic improvement and enhancement in one of 5 specific areas (“threads”) that are important for our program. These include:

  • Leadership
  • Advocacy
  • Resident Wellbeing/Social Club
  • Psychotherapy
  • Diversity and Inclusive excellence.

Chief Resident: the Chief Resident role is held by a PGY-4 resident, chosen by the Program Director and co-residents, who has demonstrated educational, mentorship, and/or administrative leadership strengths and interests. We are planning on expanding additional leadership opportunities for all senior residents– stay tuned!

University of Minnesota Medical School Residency Leadership Academy 
The Medical School’s Resident Leadership Academy provides training for residents to broaden their leadership skills as they move towards their professional goals. Its mission is to foster teamwork and collaboration to drive mutual accountability within the Medical School and across departments and disciplines. Another goal is to facilitate the development and recruitment of physicians capable of becoming highly effective organizational leaders in the Medical School.

Resident participants in the Resident Leadership Academy are nominated by their department and selected by a committee. Our department often has active and highly engaged representation in the academy! Dr. Kaz Nelson is the faculty director. Learn more.

Individualized Leadership Apprenticeship Experiences
We are ready to design individualized elective and apprenticeship experiences based on your unique leadership interests. These can include working with the Vice-Chair for Clinical Affairs to learn about healthcare system leadership; working with one of the Department Councils – Clinical, Education, or Inclusive Excellence – to understand the operational needs of the department’s mission areas; or serving on Task Forces and QI projects. Please let Department Chair Dr. Sophia Vinogradov know if you have these interests.



Year 1 is spent on inpatient units where Neurology and Primary Care requirements are completed and general inpatient Psychiatry training is begun. Residents rotate at the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC), the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center (VAMC).

  • 6 months of Inpatient Psychiatry (avg. 5 months at UMMC, 1 month at VAMC)
  • 2 months of Neurology (VAMC)
  • 2 months of Internal Medicine (VAMC)
  • 1 month of Pediatrics (University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital)
  • 1 month of Emergency Medicine (UMMC)

Average Workweek

  • Inpatient Psychiatry: 50 hours per week
  • Inpatient Pediatrics: 50-55 hours per week
  • Neurology Consults: 45 hours per week
  • Emergency Medicine: 40 hours per week
  • Inpatient Medicine: 50 hours per week

Night & Weekend Duties

  • Inpatient Pediatrics: 6 days a week, no overnight duties
  • Inpatient Medicine: 1 weekend day shift per week, no overnight duties, no call
  • Inpatient Neurology: Work one weekend day per month, no call
  • EMMD: No overnight or weekends
  • Inpatient Psychiatry: 6 weekday evening call shifts per month with PGY-2 senior Weekends and holidays are protected. No overnight call.

Year 2 introduces specialty areas such as Consultation-Liaison, Child-Adolescent Psychiatry, Geropsychiatry, Forensics and Addiction. One-half day per week is also spent in outpatient psychotherapy training.

Sample schedule

  • July - Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry (UMMC)
  • August – Inpatient Psychiatry (UMMC)
  • September – MICD (UMMC)
  • October – Nightfloat
  • November – Geropsychiatry (VAMC)
  • December – Inpatient Psychiatry (UMMC)
  • January – Neuromodulation (various)
  • February – Consult/Liaison (VAMC)
  • March - Child and Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry (UMMC)
  • April – Nightfloat
  • May – Dayfloat (UMMC)
  • June – Elective
  • Supportive Psychotherapy Clinic: Tuesday afternoon (September to June)
  • Emergency Psychiatry during C/L, Gero, and Nightfloat blocks

Average Workweek

40-60 hours.

Night & Weekend Duties

  • 4-8 weeks of night float throughout the year (5 nights on, 2 nights off). Six hours in-house call per shift, shared amongst residents. Remainder of call shift is home call
  • Twice per month 24-hour call shifts at the VAMC while on UMMC inpatient services.

Year 3 provides 12 months of continuous outpatient training as well as experiences in community mental health and group/family therapies.

Sample Schedule

  • Resident Psychiatry Clinic
  • Child Anxiety Clinic
  • Group Therapy
  • Women’s Group
  • Family Therapy
  • CBT
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • CUHCC (Community University Health Care Center) Clinic

Average Workweek

40-50 hours.

Night & Weekend Duties

None required by the residency program.


Year 4 activities are available at a variety of sites according to a resident’s interests. Opportunities include the Child-Adolescent Fellowship (fast-track after PGY3) and a variety of outpatient practice settings, including required experiences as a supervisory resident, working with junior residents and medical students. A chief resident and research opportunities are also offered.

Sample Schedule

  • VA Internal Medicine Clinic (as a Psych consultant)
  • DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) at UMMC
  • UMMC Resident Psychiatry Clinic
  • 1 month on Station 12 (Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit) at UMMC
  • Smiley’s Family Medicine Clinic (Integrated Care)
  • Substance Use Disorders

Average Workweek

40-50 hours

Nighttime & Overnight Duties

None required by the residency program. 


Residents are eligible to moonlight after the PGY-2 year and once Step/COMPLEX exams have been passed. Most residents who moonlight choose to do so at the VAMC.