The Medstar Georgetown Psychiatry Residency Program includes a core curriculum in research training with staged education and exposure to research throughout the four-year program. Overseeing the curriculum is the Resident Research Curriculum Committee composed of research faculty at Georgetown and the Washington VAMC.
Vision for Research Training
The overall goal of the research curriculum is for each resident to develop research literacy and the ability to read the basic and clinical literature relevant to psychiatry critically. Residents will also have the opportunity to develop a specific area of clinical or professional expertise that is grounded in the research literature. Finally, residents will have the opportunity to actively participate in research and produce knowledge if so inclined.
Psychiatry residents will receive instruction in the core areas of research concepts, methods and analysis. They will demonstrate the acquisition of research skills through their performance on written tests, oral presentations and their scholarly project. These skills are a requirement for graduation from the residency program in psychiatry. The PGY4 project relates directly to the identified area of expertise and is overseen by a faculty mentor.
The research curriculum emphasizes research literacy and evidence-based practices throughout the four-year program. During the research methods course residents develop a research proposal that culminates in the completion of a scholarly project in the PGY4 year. The curriculum consists of the following elements:
Residents participate in journal clubs to build critical reading, analytical thinking and oral presentation skills. During the PGY1 and PGY2 years, these are held during didactic time, and residents rotate in preparing and presenting. During the PGY3 year, this is held weekly with both resident and faculty participants.
Research Methods Course
This course is taught during the PGY3 year. It emphasizes research design, research methods and how to read and understand the literature. Residents develop their own research proposal during the course that they may use for their scholarly project.
Each PGY4 resident completes a mentored research project that can range from original research, collaboration on faculty projects to critical reviews of the peer-reviewed literature. The projects are presented in a poster session at the end of the PGY4 year and some result in presentations at national meetings and publicantions.
In addition, the department has a close relationship with the intramural research program at the National Institute of Mental Health, which offers a PGY4-6 research fellowship for individuals with research interest and background.