Curriculum & Schedules


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


First year didactics focus on fundamental knowledge and include lectures 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.  There is reserved didactic time in the Winter session for Track based learning as well (see below).


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


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 focuses on preparing for board certification and transitioning to practice after residency


  • 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)
  • Palliative Care
  • Perinatal Psychiatry (Hennepin County Medical Center or Abbott Northwestern Hospital)
  • Primary Care/Mental Health Integration (VA)
  • Psychotherapy
    • Psychological Assessment Training
    • Family Psychoeducation
    • Family Therapy, Anxiety Interventions
    • Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills
    • Cognitive Processing
    • Prolonged Exposure
    • Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy
    • Motivational Interviewing
    • DBT
    • Psychoanalysis
    • PTSD (VA)
    • Public/Forensic (Anoka or St. Peter)
    • Research (UMMC or VA)
    • Sleep Medicine (VA)
    • TMS (Mental Health Neuromodulation Clinic)

Psychotherapy Training

The University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry, is committed to a strong education program both in short and longer term psychotherapies.  We emphasize that even the briefest medication management may reveal important dynamic issues. In this sense, all patient contacts become an important ground for learning about and applying psychotherapeutic principles.  

These principles are presented in courses on the theory and practice of psychotherapy, given during the four years of psychiatry training.  Topics include supportive psychotherapy, psychodynamic theory and psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, group and family therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. 


PGY2s begin their psychotherapy training in clinic learning Supportive Psychotherapy one afternoon per week (1-5pm). 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 year is dedicated to outpatient psychotherapy clinic. Residents are required to carry a minimum of two Psychodynamic Psychotherapy patients during the year, in addition to one Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) patient (min. eight sessions), 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 (ITP) are also offered. Weekly individual supervision is provided for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and CBT patients as well as during Family and Group Therapy rotations while group supervision is provided for Motivational Interviewing.  Additional supervision can be arranged for DBT and IPT as well.


PGY4 year is mostly reserved for elective courses. Supportive, Psychodynamic, CBT, DBT, IPT and Motivational Interviewing cases continue (2-6+ hours per week) with weekly supervision throughout the year. PGY4’s also have the opportunity to pursue psychotherapy electives in Psychological Assessment Training, Family Psychoeducation, Family Therapy, Anxiety Interventions, Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills, Cognitive Processing, Prolonged Exposure, Time-Limited Psychodynamic Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, and Psychoanalysis.

Scholarly Work

  • Required Quality Improvement curriculum
  • Required scholarly work project (e.g. national poster, journal article) by PGY4
  • All PGY2’s are required to present at VA Grand Rounds
  • Research mentors are available through the clinic tracks for interested students
  • Academic opportunities to teach medical students at UMMC and the VAMC

Post-Residency Fellowships

  • Addiction Medicine
  • Addiction Psychiatry
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Geriatrics Psychiatry
  • Neuromodulation Medicine

Clinical Track

Three clinical tracks are available for residents to participate in throughout their four years of residency. The tracks are organized interest groups composed of monthly journal clubs, dedicated mentorship, and specialized clinical rotations. Residents have the opportunity to specialize in education, research, or clinical topics within each track. Currently the following tracks are available:

  • Clinical Neuroscience
    • The purpose of the Clinical Neuroscience track is to encourage those excited by neuroscience, psychiatry, and its clinical interrelatedness. Those with an eye on education (of patients, research participants, families, and other clinicians). Those who find themselves going to evidence bases, wondering what that means, and interrogating scientific evidence to inform clinical care.
    • Example Didactic & Curricular Components:
      • Experiential Components:
        • Foundational physiology development (neurology, etc).
        • Geriatrics, OBOT clinic, 
        • ECT Training. 
        • TMS training and embedded role in clinic and treatments. 
          • First Episode Psychosis (STRENGTHS) clinic
  • Development Across the Lifespan
    • The purpose of the Development Across the Lifespan track is to harness the power of development to deepen our knowledge of our patients and their environments. We seek to pursue this through:
      • Unique didactic experiences that highlight developmental interpretations of patients, diagnoses and dilemmas.
      • Clinical opportunities to explore development from multiple perspectives
      • Opportunities to engage with mentors who use development to inform their patient care and research- both in academic and community settings
      • Opportunities to imagine and build educational experiences to help expand this track
    • Our goals are to:
      • Highlight a developmental perspective to benefit our patients.
      • Explore tools to impact our patients’ lives- pharmacologic, psychologic, family, community and school interventions.
      • Find interesting and helpful ways of teaching caregivers about the changes their loved one’s are going through to help mitigate shame, guilt and blame.
    • Example Didactic & Curricular Components:
      • Experiential Components:
        • Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Experiences, Geropsychiatry Experiences, Teaching Opportunities for Medical Students, Initial Preparation for Advanced Training
  • The Global Community
    • The purpose of this track is to provide a robust learning experience for in-training psychiatrists who are interested in community psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, health equity, socio-cultural psychiatry, advocacy and care for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Trainees in the Global Community Psychiatry track will gain expertise in the practice of delivering and improving mental health care on a local and global level, and related scholarly activities. They will acquire proficiency in understanding social determinants of health, trauma-informed care, mental health laws, policies and systems and understand how they affect the lives of diverse populations of people and how to provide optimal psychiatric care within this broader social context.
    • Example Didactic & Curricular Components:
      • Experiential Components:
        • Cedar Riverside Neighborhood, Fort Snelling Historical Tour, Mixed Blood Theater, Group Meetings and Interest Sessions.
        • CUHCC Clinic, Forensic Rotations, Forensic ACT/ACT Team Rotations
        • St. Peter Regional Treatment Center, Scholarly Project.
        • Global-Local course in School of Public Health, Disaster Psychiatry.
    • Advocacy:
      • NAMI Meeting
      • Advocacy Committee in UMN Department of Psychiatry

Leadership Opportunities

Leadership Opportunities for Residents

Chief Resident: a PGY-4 resident chosen by the Program Director and co-residents, who has demonstrated educational, mentorship, and/or administrative leadership interests.

Thread Leads: PGY-2 residents can apply for a leadership role, with a faculty mentor, to pursue programmatic improvement and enhancement in the area of the thread. Threads include:

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


  • PGY 1
  • PGY 2
  • PGY 3
  • PGY 4
  • Moonlighting
  • PGY 1

    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: 80 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.
  • PGY 2

    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/Liason (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 a fellow resident. Remainder of call shift is home call.
    • Twice per month 24-hour call shifts at the VAMC while on UMMC inpatient services.
  • PGY 3

    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.

  • PGY 4

    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. 

  • Moonlighting

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