Director Letter | Psychiatry Residency Program| MedStar Health

Letter From the Training Director—The MedStar Health—Georgetown University Hospital Residency Program in Psychiatry

Mayada Akil

The mission of our Psychiatry Residency Training Program is to train compassionate, competent, and ethical psychiatrists who think like scientists and act like humanitarians and to prepare residents for successful careers of their choosing in clinical practice, scholarship, teaching, and research. Our department provides a stimulating and supportive community and encourages high academic standards in a collaborative and service-minded setting.

Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized 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. From its inception, Georgetown University School of Medicine has been committed to the pursuit of knowledge in service of the community and the care for the psychological, spiritual, social, as well as physical well-being of the person.

In the spirit of cura personalis, the Department of Psychiatry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has been recognized for expertise and innovation in such clinical areas as psychosomatic medicine, the integration of primary medical and psychiatric care, providing evidence-based care to a wide range of patient populations, including the underserved, and interdisciplinary clinical practice.

Research at the Department of Psychiatry ranges from work on the genetics of psychiatric disorders to services and health disparities research. Areas of research excellence include trauma and PTSD, clinical studies of stress and anxiety, and neuropsychiatry, amongst others.

Education is a core mission of our department. Faculty and residents participate in the education of medical students at Georgetown University School of Medicine in all four years. Residents have the benefit of working directly with a faculty of renowned researchers, expert clinicians, and award-winning teachers. Our faculty provide residents with education and mentorship and work directly with them in a variety of clinical settings.

Psychiatry residents at 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 have exposure to different systems, approaches and patient populations. I am very excited about the upcoming expansion of our program to 9 residents per year, which provides access to more educational opportunities at MWHC, including on inpatient, outpatient and consultation-liaison services serving severely mentally ill, low SES, urban patients. A larger resident body will allow us to further personalize the training of residents interested in different aspects of psychiatry and offer more electives. Our residents also interact with fellows in our two accredited fellowships in Consultation-Liaison and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In addition, Georgetown's location in the nation's capital — an international crossroads and one of the world's most culturally exciting cities — certainly makes it unique.

It is my privilege to serve as the Department of Psychiatry Vice Chair for Education and Psychiatry Residency Training Program Director at Georgetown. I am interested in innovative methods in postgraduate medical education and in integrating the many facets of our field from neuroscience to psychotherapy. My goal is to train well rounded, evidence-based and humanitarian psychiatrists who are as comfortable providing psychotherapy as they are with reading and utilizing the most cutting- edge scientific and clinical literature.


Mayada Akil, MD

Professor of Psychiatry
Vice Chair for Education
Residency Training Director

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