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Psychiatry Residency

Training Objectives

Overall Goals for Residency Training in General Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center

We believe it is the goal of the psychiatrist to understand not only the patient's illness but the much larger context of the patient's life. This necessitates an appreciation of biological, psychological, and social factors and an interest in the patient's life story. We embrace and teach current advances in neuroscience, and we assert that learning psychotherapy is vital to residency training. We are committed to teaching residents to thrive in the evolving medical climate, and to respond to community needs. At the same time we are dedicated to maintaining our identity as medicine's most humanistic specialty.

George N. McNeil, M.D.
Residency Director


The first year of training is designed to give the resident a sense of medical identity.  It has elements of a rotating or flexible internship.  The year begins for all new residents with at least one month on Psychiatry. This affords them an introduction to the service and to their psychiatric colleagues, and it also serves as a period of learning skills basic to psychiatry.  The inpatient psychiatry experience is on a general psychiatry unit at MMC with a significant population of med-psych patients.

  1. Consolidation of skills in the taking of the medical history and in physical examination
  2. Appropriate use of the clinical laboratory.

Competence in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of common medical and psychiatric disorders.
  1. The ability to provide, under supervision, ongoing care for common medical and psychiatric conditions.
  2. The ability to perform a thorough mental status examination.
  3. The ability to function as a member of the team.


  1. Further consolidation of skills in the performance of history taking and physical and mental status examination.
  2. Consolidation of skills in working with an inpatient treatment team.
  3. Ability to construct a thorough medical and psychiatric differential diagnosis in the clinical setting.
  4. Knowledge of the appropriate use and the side effects of commonly used psychoactive drugs.
  5. Knowledge of the appropriate use and protocol for electroconvulsive therapy.
  6. Appreciation for and comprehension of psychological and social factors affecting the well being of the patient.
  7. Knowledge of the indications for and significance of common neuropsychological tests.
  8. Comfort in evaluation and treatment planning for the patient with substance abuse.
  9. The ability to teach basic psychiatry to medical students.
  10. The development of a strong sense of responsibility for the patient.
  11. An appreciation of the psychological and social issues facing the elderly patient and an ability to work with the geriatric team in the evaluation and treatment of such patients.
  12. An appreciation of the psychological and social issues facing the adolescent patient and an ability to work with the adolescent team in the evaluation and treatment of such patients.
  13. Ability to perform a neurological examination and to formulate a neurological differential diagnosis.
  14. An appreciation for the interplay between brain and behavior.
  15. Since USMLE Step 3 is a requisite for licensure and for the practice of medicine in any state, we require residents to have taken and passed Step 3 by the end of the PGY-2.  Residents are strongly encouraged to take the exam as early as possible, as the likelihood of excelling on the exam declines with distance from primary care rotations.  Issuance of PGY-3 contracts is contingent upon passing Step 3.

In addition to the consolidation of the above objectives, the third-year resident should begin to develop skills in outpatient evaluation and the short and long term psychotherapy of the outpatient.

In this and the last year of training, the resident should develop a grasp of classic psychoanalytic theory as well as other major approaches to psychotherapy. In addition, the following skills should be developed:

  1. Ability to work with the child psychiatric team in the evaluation of children with a broad spectrum of psychopathology.
  2. An appreciation for family dynamics and the development of basic skills in family therapy.
  3. An ability to work in the outpatient clinic setting in cooperation with multiple community agencies.
  4. Ability to manage patients in an outpatient setting.
  5. An appreciation for the role of the forensic psychiatrist, as well as knowledge of important forensic and ethical issues in psychiatry.

In addition to refining the above skills, the senior resident should achieve the following:

  1. Basic competency in cognitive-behavior therapy, brief psychotherapy, supportive psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and combined psychotherapy/pharmacotherapy.
  2. The conduct of a thorough psychiatric consultation.

Consultation with one or more community agencies.

  1. Preparation of a scholarly presentation in the form of grand rounds or a paper.
  2. Finally, before graduation the resident should understand the important ethical issues in psychiatry, and his or her conduct should reflect adherence to high ethical standards.



Overall Goals for Residency Training in General Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center


Program Links

Director's Statement

Didactic and Seminar Curriculum


Clinical Experience

Rotation Schedule

Student Electives

Training Objectives

Psychiatry Faculty and Staff

Our Residents

How to Apply

Resident Contract

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Residencies and Fellowships

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