Letter from the Chiefs
Welcome to the UNC Psychiatry Residency Program website! We appreciate your interest in our program, and we are eager to share what makes UNC a wonderful place to train! Our residents choose to come to UNC for many reasons, but a few stand out.
The UNC Department of Psychiatry offers unique and extensive clinical learning opportunities in various settings with comprehensive exposure to a culturally, socioeconomically, and diagnostically diverse patient population. Our hospital-based experience is complete with in-patient psychiatry at both the UNC Neurosciences Hospital and the state Central Regional Hospital, consultation-liaison psychiatry at UNC Hospitals, and interventional psychiatry experience with on-site ECT. Residents spend time on each of the seven UNC Neurosciences Hospital psychiatric units (psychotic disorders, crisis stabilization, peripartum psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, child psychiatry, adolescent psychiatry, and eating disorders) throughout the course of their residency experience. In addition, all residents rotate at Central Regional Hospital, a 338-bed state psychiatric hospital with units for adults, adolescents, children, and forensic patients from state carceral facilities. An additional UNC psychiatric facility, the Youth Behavioral Hospital, will open in Fall 2023, with 54 beds for children and adolescents, including patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Our outpatient psychiatry experience is similarly diverse. Residents have the opportunity to rotate through many of our specialty clinics, including those that focus on women’s mood, eating disorders, severe mental illness, developmental disorders, and transplant psychiatry. We also have clinics tailored to certain populations including child and adolescent, geriatric, college students, healthcare workers, and LGBTQI populations in addition to our general adult clinics. Our outpatient program works across departments to provide various levels of integrated mental healthcare, including a consultation clinic which other departments can access, a psychiatry clinic co-located in the infectious disease clinic which primarily works to treat patients with co-occurring HIV and mental illness, and a true collaborative care clinic embedded in a family medicine clinic. Our psychotherapy clinic is equally robust with all residents completing cases in psychodynamic therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy during training, with additional experiences available in acceptance and commitment therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and trauma therapy if desired. In addition, all residents receive didactic education in these and other therapy modalities beginning in the PGY1 year. Of note, our outpatient medication management and psychotherapy experiences begin in the PGY2 year, allowing for a strong longitudinal experience and greater patient continuity, which can span the resident’s remaining time in training at UNC. Starting in the 2023-2024 academic year, we transitioned to a 3+1 program during the PGY3 year, allowing for a dedicated clinic week every four weeks to facilitate an even more robust outpatient clinical training.
Residents are encouraged to pursue their individual interests in subspecialty areas and have ample time throughout residency training to explore these interests both formally through tracks and informally through electives. Our formal track programs allow for protected time starting in the PGY2 year for additional education in research, clinical education, clinical informatics, mental health equity, women’s mood, and interventional psychiatry (which is new to the 2023-2024 academic year and will give additional exposure to ECT, TMS, esketamine, psilocybin, other interventional modalities, and ongoing research projects). In addition, residents have opportunities to pursue interests in community psychiatry (including by working on assertive community treatment teams), collaborative care, quality improvement, forensic and correctional psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, telepsychiatry, and mental health policy. For residents interested in research, our department conducts a wide array of exciting projects, from bench science to practical application, with mentorship provided by experts in their fields. Research institutes and centers housed within the department focus on women’s mood disorders, community mental health, suicide prevention, eating disorders, neurostimulation, global mental health, early psychosis, trauma and stress, autism, developmental disabilities, informatics, forensics, child & adolescent mood and anxiety, and philosophy, among others.
One of the highlights of our program is the strength of our residents. Following completion of their training, our graduates have pursued a variety of fellowships, clinical positions, leadership and administrative roles, and more at sites across the country. Graduates often continue in one of the department’s fellowship programs, which include child & adolescent psychiatry, consultation/liaison psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, addiction medicine, and peripartum research as well as a fellowship in geriatric psychiatry coming soon! Over the past several years, our graduates have secured fellowship positions at academic institutions in Seattle, Austin, New Haven, and more. Other graduates have remained in the Triangle area, where they may join a major academic institution, or a large state psychiatric hospital, open or join a private practice, or work for the VA or prison system. Additionally, some graduates have secured high-level administrative roles even within a few years of graduation, ranging from medical directors of clinical services to program directors of fellowship programs. Many graduates of UNC Psychiatry residency note that the camaraderie between residents and the outstanding faculty is why they selected UNC as their number one choice. Our program promotes an environment conducive for learning as well as teaching. The large class size and supportive faculty help to foster a lively, collegial culture in the Department that makes training here exciting and enjoyable.
Outside of work, the Triangle – encompassing Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh – has much to offer! Due to the unique composition of the Triangle, we have an ideal balance between the charms of living in a smaller town (lower cost of living, manageable traffic) with the amenities of a metropolitan area (professional sports, museums, and fantastic restaurants). On any given weekend, you can catch a Broadway Musical at the Durham Performing Arts Center, watch live college sports, hike at the Eno River State Park, see the stars at Morehead Planetarium, or catch an outdoor movie at the NC Museum of Art. And for those longer weekends (and we have many!), the beach and the mountains are just an easy 2 to 3-hour drive away. We think you’ll find North Carolina to be a great place to live, work, and play for the next four years!
In the pages of this website, you will find more details about the program. Of course, no website can fully capture the essence of a program or its people. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or need more information about the residency. We hope we get the chance to meet you in person and show you what makes UNC special!
Brooke Becker, Cara Fleming, Jamie Knowles, Will Novey, Amanda Price, and Claire Triller
2023 – 2024 Chief Residents