Psychiatry Residency | CMU College of Medicine

Begin your career in psychiatry

At the CMU College of Medicine, we're dedicated to preparing residents to be leaders in the field of Psychiatry - without socioeconomic or geographic limitation of any kind. Our residents become partners in reaching out to groups that most need their knowledge, skill and compassion.

We seek enthusiastic residents who want to make important contributions to the field, especially those who share our mission to expand services in Northern Michigan. Those who seek to contribute to the field in other places and in other ways will also find that our program offers outstanding training for whatever their personal mission in Psychiatry may be.

Why choose CMU for psychiatry?

The Psychiatry residency program is strengthened by our world-class faculty, robust teaching, research and publication opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities and diverse practicum environments.

Based in Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region, the program offers easy access to major hospitals, a Veterans Administration medical center, freestanding psychiatric hospital, federally qualified health center, community mental health center, the Field Neuroscience Institute, a large, progressive community mental health center, along with our newly developed outpatient services.

Our vision/what we do

We believe the discipline of Psychiatry must be guided by science, both biological and social: The psychiatrist of the future will be a sophisticated clinical neuroscientist with the critical capacity to judge evolving interventions and diagnostic trends  in the light of evidence-based practice and relevant neuroscience and psychosocial sciences. We will teach you how to make an accurate DSM diagnosis, but do not be surprised if we then convince you that DSM adopted the wrong diagnostic criteria. We  will advise you about the evidence-based pharmacotherapy for a particular condition, and then we will explain why a less expensive medication lacking the "evidence-based" imprimatur would be a reasonable alternative. After you admit an adolescent  to the hospital, we will challenge you to show that you decreased rather than increased the probability of a future suicide threat. In brief, we will train you to think rather than to accept any "fact" or practice at face value.

Core values

Our core values for the psychiatry program are:

  • Integrity, diversity and authenticity
  • Committed to patient health
  • Good communication with patients, faculty, and staff
  • Compassion towards others in everything you do
  • Take initiative and have a high sense of responsibility
  • Humility and emotional maturity

Future expectations

Our future expectations for you in the psychiatry program are:

  • Ability to work more closely with faculty
  • Provide quality/safe care
  • Continue to be involved on candidate selection and choose candidates with similar core values
  • Foster academic excellence and improve community collaboration
  • Expand fellowship opportunities
  • To better serve the community and bring awareness to mental health
  • Practice evidence-based medicine and provide standard of care

MIDOCs loan repayment program

The MIDOCs program is a state-funded program set up to expand residency positions to recruit and retain physicians in underserved areas of Michigan. This expansion includes a two-year commitment to practice in a rural or underserved area of Michigan. MIDOCs residents are also eligible for up to $75,000 in student loan repayment!  Learn more about MIDOCs at CMU College of Medicine.

Program highlights

  • 4-year program
  • Fully accredited by ACGME
  • Newly developed psychiatric services outpatient clinic
  • Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship available
  • First-year residents treat 300+ patients in psychiatric unit annually
  • More than 1,200 hospital beds in three facilities
  • Clinical, academic, research and collaborate care opportunities
  • 100% fellowship match rate
  • High patient population, collaborative care model
  • Inpatient psychiatry rotation at psychiatric hospital
  • Multiple in-state and international projects presented at conferences

Curriculum and schedule

Learn more about the psychiatry curriculum and schedule at Central Michigan University's College of Medicine.

View Curriculum for PGY-1 through PGY-4


Didactics emphasize the development of fundamental skills of diagnostic interviewing, case formulation, and psychotherapeutic intervention through active exercises with patients, observation of faculty and peers, and repeated critiques of interactions with patients. Three clinically-based streams of core teaching focus upon the psychiatric interview and formulation; psychodynamic principles in intervention and treatment; and evidence-based psychotherapies based upon behavioral and, especially, cognitive-behavioral methods. 

Core knowledge and critical thinking skills are addressed in the major seminars labeled “Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry,” “Psychopathology,” and “Clinical Neurosciences,” where key material is usually encountered more than once, but never in exactly the same way. In many instances, for example, material that has been presented to the resident at the PGY-1 or PGY-2 level will later be presented by the same residents when they reach the PGY-3 and PGY-4 level. Learning by teaching is not only a sound pedagogical tool but a key skill for promoting communication and leadership in team and multidisciplinary environments. 

A third feature of our didactic sequence is the liberal use of online and instructional materials collated from existing media. For example, when residents first encounter psychiatric patients as PGY-1’s, they attend a traditional seminar series (i.e., “Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry”) covering major subject areas relevant to their work, but at the same time will be expected to listen repeatedly to a series of core lectures, called the “crash course,” that they will be able to carry on a flash drive and listen to at any time. The intent is to create a user-friendly environment within which residents can immerse themselves in the new subject matter, much as one might do when learning a new language. 

Finally, some core subject matter, such as statistics and research design, is learned through a combination of online or media-based learning and individual tutorial instruction from a faculty member. 

Didactics are held Thursdays between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Conference schedule

Conferences are held on Thursdays at 12:00 p.m. once per block.

Psychiatry residents in action

Our Psychiatry residents at work and play during their residency program