The Clinical Informatics Track in the UNC Psychiatry Residency Program is an elective, specialized track of study for psychiatry residents interested in efficiency, Electronic Health Record optimization, and informatics. This program is designed to help residents in the study of information technology in the context of clinical care, especially as it relates to EHR optimization.  

The Track is led by Austin Hall, MD, Medical Director for the Department’s Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. Residents in multiple classes, including the Chief Resident of Clinical Informatics, take a leadership role as well. Interested residents apply to the track in the spring of PGY-1, and begin the track in PGY-2. One resident is accepted per post-graduate year.


Our curriculum falls into three general categories. To facilitate participation in these endeavors, residents will have protected clinical time for Track activities, including two half-days per week in the PGY-2 year.

Trainee Education

Track trainees will complete the AMIA 10 x 10 course in clinical informatics, which includes attending and presenting at an AMIA conference. Other educational activities include completing the Epic physician PowerUser course, liaising with Epic physician users group, participating in a monthly journal article review, and attending guest speaker lectures.

Service / Department Education

Serving the Department of Psychiatry will initially focus on projects related to EMR usage and plans to expand to include supporting the department in data collection and technology adoption. Examples as of the inaugural year of the track include: targeting Epic efficiency improvement through smartphrase and order set optimization, establishing Epic “office hours” for the department, and giving department-wide presentations about efficiency and the EHR.

Research and Quality Improvement

The track is in a natural position to spur research questions and quality improvement projects given its focus on data and efficiency. As part of completing AMIA’s 10 x 10 course in clinical informatics, track participants will design and implement an informatics related project which will subsequently be presented at the AMIA Annual Symposium.