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Career Development - Psychiatry

What Does Training Look Like?

Psychiatry residency is four years long. The intern year is spent in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Acute (Inpatient) Psychiatry. The following three years consist of multiple rotations, including child and adolescent psychiatry, consult liaison psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, outpatient psychiatry, and training in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy training is longitudinal, and residents are required to have cases in a multitude of different psychotherapy modalities.

There are also combined degree programs. Triple Board (Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Pediatrics) is 5 years long. Med-Psych (Adult Psychiatry and Internal Medicine) is 5 years long. There is no additional training required beyond these residencies, but there are several boarded fellowships available.

It is sometimes possible to combine Psychiatry residency with Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship by applying for fellowship to start after the PGY3 year. This reduces a year off the training time for a total of 5 years instead of 6 years.


There are multiple boarded fellowships: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (2 years), Geriatric Psychiatry (1 year), Forensic Psychiatry (1 year), Addiction Psychiatry (1 year), and Psychosomatic Medicine (1 year), Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Sleep Medicine, and Pain Management. There are also non-boarded fellowships/trainings in many areas including, but not limited to, Perinatal Psychiatry, Infant Mental Health, Eating Disorders, HIV Psychiatry, Integrative Medicine, Research, Schizophrenia, Community Psychiatry, Electroconvulsive Therapy, and other minimally invasive procedures.

What Does a Typical Workday Look Like?

Psychiatry is unique in that there is no typical workday. Most psychiatrists work more than one position, which may be a combination of outpatient clinics, inpatient, telemedicine, academics, etc. Related, the work-life balance is typically quite good if that is a priority. Psychiatrists on average work 48 hours per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Important Qualities and Traits

Qualities recognized as important to psychiatry include:


  • The ability to listen “actively” and observe “comprehensively.”
  • Psychological mindedness and curiosity.
  • The ability to skillfully engage and develop therapeutic alliance with patients from the first encounter.
  • Compassion and empathy, but pragmatic firmness about boundaries.
  • Nonjudgmental stance and cognizance of one’s own limitations.
  • Impeccable integrity and ethical conduct.
Shadowing Opportunities

For shadowing opportunities, please contact Dr. Ashley Weiss , Director of Medical Student Education, or Dr. Erin Stanton , Associate Director for Medical Student Education.
Research Opportunities

There are multiple areas of research occurring within the Department of Psychiatry including:


  • Infant Mental Health – the effects from neglect and deprivation
  • Collaborative care models
  • Genetics – the effects on DNA from stress and trauma
  • Schizophrenia and outcomes with first-episode psychosis intervention
  • PTSD in children and the best treatment modalities
  • PTSD and family therapy

There is a research webpage where details can be accessed.

Additionally, students may want to pursue research opportunities through the DeBakey Scholars Program. This program offers medical students the opportunity to pursue and complete a longitudinal, structured, closely supervised research experience culminating in a capstone presentation prior to graduation. For more information, contact Dr. Kenneth Mitchell.

Specialty Interest Group

Mentorship: Residents in Tulane’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences are paired with students based on common interests. Both adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry residents have offered to mentor students.

Education: We hold three lunch presentations throughout the year, which bring in speakers to discuss a range of mental health topics. We also sponsor medical student attendance at Tulane's Brain and Behavior Conference in December and Forensic Psychiatry Conference in April, including a special lunch with faculty.

Service: This varies year to year. In the recent past students have volunteered at the Sensory Friendly Family Night at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, a time when the museum is opened just for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families so they can enjoy the museum after hours.


Grant Talkington

Recommended T3 & T4 Coursework

Interested students should try to do their psychiatry clerkship in the beginning or middle of their T3 year. A psychiatry sub-internship is recommended and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Other electives include Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry and Assertive Community Treatment. Please see the list of electives for a description of other available electives. You can also contact Nyja Horton, Program Coordinator for Psychiatry, for more information.


Specialty Statistics


Summary Statistics (from "Charting Outcomes in the Match 2020")






n = 1029

n = 106

1. Mean number of contiguous ranks



2. Mean number of distinct specialties ranked



3. Mean USMLE Step 1 score



4. Mean USMLE Step 2 score



5. Mean number of research experiences



6. Mean number of abstracts, presentations, publications



7. Mean number of work experiences



8. Mean number of volunteer experiences



9. Percentage who are AOA members



10. Percentage who graduated from one of the 40 US medical schools with the highest NIH funding



11. Percentage who have Ph.D. degree



12. Percentage who have another graduate degree






Special Considerations When Applying for Residency

There are no special considerations when applying for residency.

Important Advice

Away rotations are not necessary, but if interested in a specific program, are a good way to make yourself known. If you are interested in a program in which you have a connection (i.e., you went to undergrad there and want to move back), you should convey that to the program.

Students should look for programs they feel are a good fit in terms of size, program strengths coinciding with student interests, and “personality” of the program as a whole.

Personal statements are fairly important in this field and should clearly address why one is pursuing psychiatry. Letters of recommendation, even the ones NOT from psychiatrists, should convey the qualities about the student that are consistent with success as a psychiatrist. Always ask people writing letters to highlight your interpersonal skills.

Always reach out to programs you are truly interested in if you haven’t heard from them within a month after residency applications.


Where Past Tulane Students Have Matched

Army - Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu HI 2021
Barnes-Jewish Hosp-MO ST LOUIS MO 2019
Barnes-Jewish Hosp-MO ST LOUIS MO 2020
CA Pacific Med Center SAN FRANCISCO CA 2019
CMSRU/Cooper University Hospital-NJ CAMDEN NJ 2019
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Med Ctr-NH LEBANON NH 2017
Duke Univ Med Ctr-NC DURHAM NC 2017
Emory Univ SOM-GA ATLANTA GA 2019
Harbor-UCLA Med Ctr-CA Torrance CA 2021
Harvard South Shore-MA BROCKTON MA 2020
Hofstra Northwell SOM-Zucker Hillside-NY GLEN OAKS NY 2017
Icahn SOM St Lukes-Roosevelt-NY NEW YORK NY 2019
Icahn SOM St Lukes-Roosevelt-NY NEW YORK NY 2020
ISMMS Mount Sinai Morningside-West-NY New York NY 2021
Kaiser Permanente-Fontana-CA FONTANA CA 2018
Kaiser Permanente-San Jose-CA SAN JOSE CA 2020
Loma Linda University-CA REDLANDS CA 2018
Massachusetts Gen Hosp BOSTON MA 2018
Montefiore Med Ctr/Einstein-NY BRONX NY 2018
Montefiore Med Ctr/Einstein-NY BRONX NY 2018
Montefiore Med Ctr/Einstein-NY BRONX NY 2019
Montefiore Med Ctr/Einstein-NY Bronx NY 2021
Northwestern McGaw/NMH/VA-IL CHICAGO IL 2018
NYP Hosp-Weill Cornell Med Ctr-NY NEW YORK NY 2017
Ottawa University OTTAWA ONTARIO 2017
Rush University Med Ctr-IL CHICAGO IL 2019
Rush University Med Ctr-IL CHICAGO IL 2020
San Mateo Behavioral Hlth & Recovery Svcs-CA SAN MATEO CA 2018
SUNY HSC Brooklyn-NY Brooklyn NY 2021
Tripler Army Medical Center TRIPLER AMC HI 2018
Tulane Univ SOM-LA NEW ORLEANS LA 2017
Tulane Univ SOM-LA NEW ORLEANS LA 2018
Tulane Univ SOM-LA NEW ORLEANS LA 2018
Tulane Univ SOM-LA NEW ORLEANS LA 2020
Tulane Univ SOM-LA NEW ORLEANS LA 2020
U Florida COM-Shands Hosp GAINESVILLE FL 2019
U Illinois COM-Chicago CHICAGO IL 2019
U Illinois COM-Chicago Chicago IL 2021
U Iowa Hosps and Clinics IOWA CITY IA 2017
U Louisville SOM-KY LOUISVILLE KY 2017
U Maryland Med Ctr BALTIMORE MD 2020
U Southern California LOS ANGELES CA 2017
U Southern California LOS ANGELES CA 2019
U Southern California LOS ANGELES CA 2019
U Southern California Los Angeles CA 2021
U Texas Southwestern Med Sch-Dallas DALLAS TX 2020
UC San Diego Med Ctr-CA SAN DIEGO CA 2018
UC San Diego Med Ctr-CA SAN DIEGO CA 2018
UCLA Semel Inst for Neuroscience-CA LOS ANGELES CA 2020
University of Virginia CHARLOTTESVILLE VA 2017
University of Virginia CHARLOTTESVILLE VA 2018
University of Virginia CHARLOTTESVILLE VA 2018
Zucker SOM-Northwell Zucker Hillside-NY GLEN OAKS NY 2020
How Many Programs Should I Apply To?

Psychiatry is increasing in competitiveness, but most US medical applicants match into the field. Based on AAMC data, it appears that students with USMLE Step 1 scores of 215 or higher reach the point of diminishing returns at about 13 programs, while students with scores from 198-214 reach that point at about 17 applications, and students with scores of 197 or lower reach it at about 21 applications. The point of diminishing returns is defined as the point at which submitting one additional application results in a lower rate of return on the applicant’s likelihood of entering a residency program. Of course, this is also dependent on the strength of one’s application beyond Step 1 scores and the competitiveness of the programs to which one is applying.