Psychiatry Residency Program | MedStar Georgetown University Hospital | MedStar Health

The MedStar Health—Georgetown University Hospital Residency Program in Psychiatry

We are excited that you are considering our residency. The Department of Psychiatry at Georgetown University dates back to 1887, and the training program has graduated many eminent psychiatrists. From our beautiful Washington, D.C., location, you will receive rigorous, diverse training that will prepare you for a career in psychiatry.

Faculty and residents participate in the education of medical students at Georgetown University of Medicine for all four years. Residents have the benefit of working directly with a faculty of renowned researchers, expert clinicians, and award-winning teachers.

The program also offers access to the research conducted by a talented multidisciplinary group of researchers investigating a wide range of subjects. We approach our work in research, education, and mentoring with integrity, humility, and compassion, with an eye toward helping under-served populations and to improve quality of life for all.

Learn more about our program from our residency training program director.

Learn more about our program from our department chair

Why train here

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is an internationally esteemed academic medical center whose missions of research, teaching, and patient care are carried out with a strong emphasis on community outreach and the principle of Cura Personalis–care of the whole person.

Psychiatry residents at MedStar Georgetown have access to our many affiliates, including MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, and the National Institute of Mental Health and others, giving them valuable exposure to different systems, approaches, and patient populations.

Our faculty provide residents with education and mentorship and work directly with them in a variety of clinical settings. When you join our program in beautiful Washington DC, you will find yourself in a supportive and collegial environment that values diversity and inclusion.

Learn about the Global Health Track


The didactic curriculum provides residents with the scientific and conceptual basis for clinical practices. It also offers them a space to contemplate treatment dilemmas outside of the pressures of the clinical environment. The didactic curriculum provides residents with the scientific and conceptual basis for clinical practices. It also provides residents with a space to contemplate treatment dilemmas outside of the pressures of the clinical environment.

Georgetown residents have one afternoon of dedicated didactic time per week in each year of training. This time is protected from clinical responsibilities and serves as a foundation for the additional rotation-based conferences, teaching rounds, and journal clubs that residents attend. Currently, all didactics are conducted via Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to maximize resident safety.

The following are some of the major topics covered in didactics:

  • Didactic Series for All Four Years

    • Professional Development 
    • Wellness for residents –regular groups led by each class’ wellness coach 
    • Anti-racism Curriculum 
    • Clinical Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatry 
    • Quality Improvement Lectures and Projects 
    • Risk Assessment and Safety  
    • Psychotherapy (details below) 
  • PGY-1

    • Transition to residency and reflection 
    • “Boot Camp” skills sessions covering critical topics such as the psychiatric interview, decisional capacity, management of delirium/agitation, and self-care 
    • Introduction to Psychiatric Formulation and Diagnosis 
    • Introduction to Psychologic Concepts and Psychotherapies 
    • Introduction to the Psychiatric Interview, Case Presentation, and Documentation 
    • Introduction to Suicide Risk Assessment and Emergency Psychiatry 
    • Observed faculty interviews 
    • Introduction to Treatment Planning and Psychopharmacology 
    • Journal Club: Seminal Papers in Psychiatry 
    • PRITE (Psychiatry Resident-In-Training Examination) Question Prep 
    • Introduction to Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatry
    • Internal Medicine Didactics
    • Neurology Didactics

    View detailed schedule
  • PGY-2

    • Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Lecture Series 
    • Supportive Psychotherapy Workshops & Lectures 
    • Mood Disorders 
    • Anxiety Disorders 
    • Substance use Disorders 
    • Psychotic Disorders
    • Trauma Related Disorders 
    • Personality Disorders 
    • Clinical Ethics 
    • Risk Assessment
    • Introduction to Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatry
    • Introduction to Forensic Psychiatry 
    • Introduction to Psychodynamic Therapy & CBT 

    View detailed schedule
  • PGY-3

    • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 
    • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Seminar & Case Conferences 
    • CBT Seminar 
    • Other Therapy Modalities: DBT, ACT, Group Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy 
    • Women’s Mental Health Seminar 
    • Forensic Psychiatry 
    • Quality Assurance didactics and project
    • Weekly Journal Club 
    • Sleep and Sleep Disorders 
    • Eating Disorders 
    • Pain Management 

    View detailed schedule
  • PGY-4

    PGY4s can influence the content of their own didactics depending on their interests and future plans. Some of the topics chosen this year include

    • Transitioning beyond residency – topics include choosing career paths, setting up a private practice, negotiating contracts, financial wellness, medical malpractice, & disability insurance 
    • Advanced specialized psychotherapies – topics include Perinatal Psychotherapy, Transitional Age Psychotherapy, Psychotherapy in Psycho-oncology 
    • Advanced Psychopharmacology – topics include managing side-effects of psychotropics, HIV Psychiatry 
    • Medico-legal Issues in Psychiatry 
    • Mental health care on the college campus 
    • Telepsychiatry 
    • Forensic Psychiatry 
    • Review for Board Exams  

    View detailed schedule


The program offers many elective rotation choices that residents have pursued in their PGY2, 3, or 4. This list is not intended to be complete. Residents can create electives that meet certain criteria and correspond with their interest and career goals.

  • PGY-1 Schedule

    In your first psychiatric rotations, you will have the opportunity to observe diverse patients with a wide range of psychiatric illnesses. You will also learn effective patient interviewing skills and will be learning clinical reasoning skills, formulation and treatment planning.

  • PGY-2 Schedule

    Elective options begin in the second year. You will learn how to care for patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting, and how to be a consultant to other services. You will start to develop psychotherapy skills focusing on supportive psychotherapy.

  • PGY-3 Schedule

    This is an outpatient year. You will learn how to provide are for outpatients in multiple settings. You will also learn how to care for different populations including children, adolescents, the elderly and the severely mentally ill and how to provide psychodynamic psychotherapy and CBT.

  • PGY-4 Schedule

    The fourth year is a flexible year, individually designed for each resident. Residents spend 50% of their time on clinical services, including Chief positions and clinical rotations. There are five chief resident positions. With the other 50% of their time, fourth year residents pursue electives of their choice.

Please follow the link to learn about some of the electives that past residents have pursued in their PGY2, 3 or 4. This list is not intended to be complete, residents can create electives that meet certain criteria and fit with their interests and career goals.

The following is a list of call responsibilities:

  • PGY-1s: 4 weeks of night float at MGUH (2 weeks at a time). 6 Friday overnight shifts at MGUH. 12 daytime shifts on weekends at MGUH.
  • PGY-2s: Seven 24-hour call shifts at MGUH (6 on Saturdays, 1 on a holiday). 6 daytime shifts on weekends at MWHC. No night float.
  • PGY-3s: Two weeks of night float at MGUH. 6-7 daytime shifts on weekends at MGUH. One 24-hour holiday. PGY1-3 also have some short call and buddy call responsibilities.
  • PGY-4s do not have any call obligations.

Hear from our team

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Hear from our Training Director, Mayada Akil, MD, and a variety of psychiatry residents at different stages of their residencies.


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.

Psychiatry residents receive instruction in the core areas of research concepts, methods and analysis. They demonstrate the acquisition of research skills through their performance on 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.

Research Curriculum

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:

  • Journal Club

    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.

  • 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 publications and presentations at national meetings.

  • PGY4 Grand Rounds Presentation

    Each PGY4 is expected to present at Grand Rounds on a topic of interest or on their own research under the supervision of a mentor.

    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.

Training locations

MedStar Georgetown is a world-renowned, not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital located in Northwest Washington, D.C., Neurosciences is among the many centers of excellence at our facility.

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, D.C., 20007

MedStar Washington is a 912-bed major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private, not-for-profit hospital in Washington, D.C., and among the 100 largest hospitals in the nation.

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, D.C., 20010

Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center

The Washington, D.C., Veterans Affairs Medical Center is the flagship hospital in the Veterans Health Administration system. The medical center operates a multi-million dollar research program that supports more than 100 investigators and more than 300 active research projects.

50 Irving St. NW
Washington, D.C., 20422

Affiliate training sites

Other facilities also may be utilized during your psychiatry residency. These include:

Adventist HealthCare Behavioral Health & Wellness
Clifton Perkins Hospital
National Institute of Mental Health
Virginia Hospital Center

Application Information

How to apply.

Contact us

Further inquiries regarding the application process should be directed to:

Beth Sweeney
Administrator, Residency Programs MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Department of Psychiatry
2115 Wisconsin Avenue, NW Suite 200
Washington, D.C., 20007
P: 202-944-5372
F: 202-944-5404