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 chose to come to UNC for many reasons, but a few stand out. UNC Department of Psychiatry offers unique and extensive clinical learning opportunities in various settings. 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. The Triangle – encompassing Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh – provides a full range of activities and fun events throughout the year. We think you’ll find North Carolina to be a great place to live, work, and play for the next four years!
The UNC Psychiatry Residency Program is committed to supporting the physical and mental health of residents. There have been many changes made to safeguard the wellbeing of trainees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department will continue to be flexible and adapt as national, state, local, and hospital policies evolve to combat the spread of the coronavirus. We hope that applicants can virtually get to know us well, and we can get to know you during this unprecedented and unique interview season.
Our residency program, in conjunction with the UNC Psychiatry Department and School of Medicine, is actively working to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We are committed to recruiting individuals from traditionally underrepresented minorities in medicine and nourishing a culture of respect, inclusivity, and equity. We value having a vibrant and diverse resident community, including but not limited to gender, race/ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. We know that diversity in healthcare providers is vitally important to be reflective of our patient population and to enhance culturally-sensitive, patient-centered care.
Academically, UNC offers comprehensive exposure to a culturally, socioeconomically, and diagnostically diverse patient population. Within the Neurosciences Hospital on the UNC Hospitals campus, there are seven different inpatient psychiatric units through which our residents rotate. Our Neurosciences Hospital has Child, Adolescent, and Geriatric Psychiatry units, as well as other specialty units such as Eating Disorders, Perinatal, and Psychotic Disorders. Our Perinatal Psychiatry unit, opened in 2011, is the first of its kind in the United States and served as a study site for the 2019 FDA-approved brexanolone (Zulresso) infusion treatment for postpartum depression.
Our outpatient psychiatry experience is similarly diverse. Not only does our program feature over 10 specialty clinics – including Psychosomatic, Developmental Disorders, Women’s Mood, Gender Equality, to name but a few – but residents also begin their outpatient experience as second-year residents, which allows for greater patient continuity over time. We maintain a strong focus in psychotherapy, including both Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training, along with exposure to DBT, ACT, and Couples Therapy. Residents start learning DBT skills in their first year of residency. Beginning outpatient psychiatry earlier in training allows for a more robust and longitudinal psychotherapy experience.
Residents are encouraged to pursue their individual interests in subspecialty areas, including (but certainly not limited to) ECT, TMS, collaborative care, quality improvement, student mental health, forensic/corrections, telepsychiatry, Assertive Community Treatment, and mental health policy. We also offer specialized tracks, including the Research Track, the Clinical Informatics Track, and the Clinician Educator Track for residents with particular interests in research, informatics, and teaching, respectively, which provide valuable protected time starting in the PGY-2 year. For residents interested in research, our department conducts a wide array of exciting projects, and many of our research supervisors are experts in their fields.
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 all across the country. 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, whether it be staying at a major academic institution, working at a large state psychiatric hospital, going into a private practice, or working for the VA. 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.
Outside of work, the Triangle 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.
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 email 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.
Drs. Surabhi Kasera, Christina Murray, Katie Pollard, Katie Gaffney, Alissa Hutto and Mackenzie Walker
2021-2022 Chief Residents
2021-2022 Chief Residents