​​​​​A Special Opportunity to Shape Your Own Program

The CMU residency program in psychiatry is new. It recently received its initial accreditation from ACGME. It has been approved for 16 positions, four spaces in each of the four years required for a resident to earn board eligibility. The first cohort assembled in July 2014 with an expected graduation date of June 2018. As a work in progress, our program presents an unusual opportunity for residents themselves to shape the program. Although we have thought long and hard about how best to train residents by taking advantage of local talent and resources, we have no doubt that you will shape the final products. Many aspects of the program that we describe here are subject to modification where desirable, and residents will be largely responsible for suggesting the improvements.

The Mission

The departmental training mission is in part derived from the mission and values of the College of Medicine. These emphasize the preparation of physicians “focused on improving access to high-quality health care in Michigan, with an emphasis on rural and medically underserviced regions.” For purposes of this mission, psychiatry is considered to be primary care and training of psychiatric residents is a very high priority.

The training obtained here will prepare the future psychiatrist for a broad range of career choices without socioeconomic or geographic limitation of any kind, but we anticipate that many young psychiatrists will share our idealism, becoming partners in reaching out to groups that most need their knowledge, skill, and compassion.

The Vision

Idealistic though we may be, we are also a pragmatic group that believes that 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.

Future Opportunities

Although this program is young, it is not quite born yet—it can boast not only a growing and distinguished faculty, but numerous resources at our disposal. In our immediate vicinity we have two major general hospitals, one of which is a major referral center for neurosurgical conditions; there is a freestanding psychiatric hospital within a modern facility that includes adult and child/adolescent psychiatric units, an addiction unit, and long-term medical care units; there is a Veteran’s Administration Medical Center; the Field Neuroscience Institute conducts basic research on psychiatric and neurological conditions; and a large and progressive community mental health center is a two-minute drive from the departmental offices. Within 40 minute radius are other community mental health centers, a state psychiatric hospital, and large psychiatric and medical delivery systems in Flint, Michigan. On the West campus (Mt. Pleasant, Michigan) the psychology department has active clinical training and service programs that are eager to collaborate and a community mental health center with outstanding psychiatric staff. 

There is not much here we cannot get for you if you need it and, positions for faculty will likely be open to you when you graduate from the program.

Whom Do We Want?

We seek enthusiastic seekers who will make important contributions to our field. We will select for the most promising talent available, as these individuals will help us to develop a rigorous and innovative program and they will be the “proof of concept” that we have succeeded in our educational objectives. Those who share aspects of our mission, which includes the expansion of faculty and services in Northern Michigan, are especially encouraged to apply, but others, who intend to make their special contributions to the field in other places and in other ways, will also find that our program will supply an outstanding training for whatever their personal mission in psychiatry may be.

Contact Information:

Residency Program Coordinator
Phone: (989) 746-7611
Fax: (989) 746-7604