Graduate Medical Education


Overview of the Curriculum

Welcome to a superior training in psychiatry!

Our four-year, fully accredited, competency-based training program in psychiatry emphasizes the three principal foci of modern psychiatry:  neuropsychiatry, psychotherapy, and psychopharmacology.  During each postgraduate year (PGY), the essential skills of each of these three areas are taught through a comprehensive clinical and didactic/seminar curriculum.  It is in this way, that the assessment of frontal lobe function, understanding and utilization of counter transference and the intricacies of lithium therapy may converge to bring a resident a modern, multifaceted approach the diagnosis and treatment of a patient with Bipolar Affective Disorder.  The RFUMS/Chicago Medical School, along with the new James A. Lovell Federal Hospital, houses our main campus and provides residents with a whole host of patient types running the gamut of psychopathology.  Trainees gain additional valuable exposure and skills at our community satellite rotations at Mount Sinai Hospital, Elgin State Hospital and the DuPage Community Mental Health Center.

Residents develop competence in the six core competencies of knowledge, patient care, professionalism, interviewing and communication skills, self-guided learning and self-improvement and the health care system.  In addition, residents develop competence in supportive, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy in our unique outpatient psychotherapy clinic.  As the residency progresses, more advanced skills are added to solid foundations.  A comprehensive biopsychosocial framework underlies our patient care approach. 

We use a “spiral” learning method where residents are exposed to the same rotation at more advanced levels of training. For example, in PGY-2, residents have an introductory outpatient experience and then are re-exposed to outpatient psychiatry in PGY-3 and PGY-4.  Conversely, residents rotate through inpatient psychiatry throughout their PGY-1 year, and are re-exposed as PGY-2 residents as well.  The “spiral” learning approach extends to our renown Thursday “seminars day” as well.

Immersion in Academic Inquiry:  Thursdays at RFUMS

The clinical curriculum is complimented by a formal didactic program.  Every Thursday, residents gather in our classroom/administration building for a full day of seminars, grand rounds, and clinical and research supervision. Seminars also promote close faculty-resident communication.  Everyone is immersed in the process of learning.

An innovative curriculum, utilizing resident team teaching, provides in-depth material from the APA Textbook of Psychiatry and sits at the core of the seminars day.  An expert faculty member moderates each presentation bringing theory to practice in an exciting and practical way.  This material is presented each year and prepares residents not only for knowledgeable and competent patient care, but for their ABPN Part I examination at the end of their fourth year, as well.  Each resident has the opportunity to explore the same material, in depth, in each of their four years in this “spiral” learning format.  Here, junior residents learn from their senior brethren and all residents learn from the moderating attending.  In addition, individual seminars geared solely to either PGY-1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s augment the core innovative team teaching format. A unique, three-year psychotherapy continuity clinic also takes place on Thursday afternoons at the Federal Hospital under direct supervision of our psychotherapy faculty.  Thus, no matter where a resident rotates, he or she can follow three psychotherapy patients for up to three years.

Other Activities

Grand Rounds/Clinical Case Conferences

Weekly grand rounds and clinical case conferences are exciting forums for a vibrant exchange of ideas concerning the cutting edge of psychiatry. Nationally and internationally recognized experts present original data covering the major themes of modern psychiatry.  Frequently senior residents will give presentations in a grand rounds style with a faculty.

Research and Scholarship

Each resident, each year, participates in an annual research poster competition sponsored by our residency alumni.  An actual clinical case serves as the jumping off point for a research poster judged by three independent university scholars.  The winner receives an educational travel award, and two runner-ups receive psychiatry books of their choice.  In addition, residents are encouraged to engage in the many research/scholarship opportunities sponsored by faculty.

Educational Value at the Heart of Every Interaction Leads to Superior Training

The psychiatry residency at RFUMS/CMS prides itself on placing educational value at the heart of each and every clinical and didactic activity.  From the chair of the department and the most senior professors all the way down to the newest clinical instructor, each faculty member is committed to bringing superior training to each psychiatry resident.  Fundamental skills are set in place from the first day of training and all our supervisors help shape residents into thoughtful, sophisticated modern psychiatric practitioners.  It is the atmosphere of academic inquiry combined with clinical excellence that results in an unparalleled training experience. 

Application Process

All applications are accepted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) of the Association of American Medical Colleges.  Correspondence regarding the residency program should be addressed to:

David Garfield, MD
Professor and Director of Residency Training
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL, 60064

Georgette Pfeiffer
Program Coordinator 

For details of application requirements, see Residency Application Requirements.
'For complete program description, see Department Catalog.pdf 

Life in Discovery