Letter from the Chair
This is an exciting time to be entering the field of psychiatry! Major advances have enhanced our ability to treat psychiatric illness and have created stronger identifications with our colleagues in other branches of medicine. We are able to combine improved diagnostic precision with a wide range of safe, effective, and specific interventions. Recent progress in psychological, biological, and social psychiatry has created an environment of therapeutic effectiveness. Additionally, there is increasing public awareness of the prevalence and seriousness of psychopathology and of our ability to efficiently treat the ill. In times of national crisis, the role of psychiatry becomes more prominent and necessary. These realities provide a solid foundation for continued enthusiasm about the present and future vitality of our profession.
The Department of Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is an environment conducive to learning and personal growth. Faculty and residents work together, and education is a priority for all. Our residents receive intensive didactic coursework and well-supervised clinical training in psychotherapies and biologic treatments. Indications and techniques for the appropriate integration of biologic and psychodynamic therapies are emphasized. We are dedicated to psychiatric education that is balanced in the biopsychosocial approach, teaches the trainee to respond to the needs of the patient, and emphasizes physician leadership in the mental health setting.
This website is a brief introduction that barely touches on many new and established programs, including specialized training in managed mental health care, sleep disorders, substance abuse and public psychiatry. Recently, we established an autism school that incorporates training and research opportunities for residents and child fellows. Our Mood Disorders Institute has a special focus on gender and psychopharmacology. We have a special program for hearing impaired children with mental illnesses and another new program that focuses on the therapeutic aspects of the human-animal bond. We have a long tradition of political advocacy for the rights of our patients and resident participation in learning the skills of political action is welcomed. All of these collaborations strengthen residency training.
Our newest laboratory in molecular genetics is pursuing the hereditary and biologic etiologies of psychiatric illness. Each year our department's research produces over 225 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and now extends to collaborative sites in Ireland and Sweden. We are ranked fifth internationally for the scientific impact of our research. Guest faculty and fellows regularly lecture and work at VCU and the VCU Medical Center, enriching the educational environment. Over 120 million dollars of new construction is underway on campus, including new ambulatory care and research centers. Residents have an important role in these clinical and research activities.
If you would like to learn more about our residency program, please contact us. We enjoy meeting prospective residents, and you will find us to be collaborative, creative, and dedicated to excellence in psychiatric education.