The major goal of our residency training program is to prepare our graduates to be competent, well-informed, caring clinicians and scientists who are prepared to manage any challenge in psychiatry by utilizing the latest scientific information and by critically applying sound reasoning skills. We prepare our graduates to be competent in every major area of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment and to be dedicated to their patients, colleagues and to their own continued learning.
The Psychiatry Department at the University of Chicago has a long and highly respected history of clinical, teaching, and scientific excellence. Many of its former graduates are current and former Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry and leading researchers in psychiatry. Our current Chair, Emil Coccaro, MD, a well known clinical researcher in the field of aggression and personality disorders, has recruited faculty members to the Department with clinical and basic science research interests that span numerous subspecialty areas including behavioral genetics.
The adult residency training program is directed by Deborah Spitz, M.D., a leader in the field of psychiatric education for many years. A Board Certified adult psychiatrist, she received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her psychiatric residency and fellowship at The University of Chicago. She was the recipient of an NIMH Junior Faculty Development Award in 1982, and served on the faculty at The University of Chicago until 1988. For the next 12 years, she was on the faculty at Tufts-New England Medical Center, where she directed the adult residency training program. Beginning in 2000, she spent three years in Britain as a Consultant Psychiatrist for the National Health Service and teacher in one of England’s newest medical schools at the University of East Anglia. She re-joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 2003. Throughout her career she has been active in medical student and resident education, and has received numerous teaching awards both at The University of Chicago and at Tufts-New England Medical Center. She has been the President of the Association for Academic Psychiatry, and has been active in the American Psychiatric Association and the Association for the Advancement of Philosophy and Psychiatry.
The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section is led by Sharon Hirsch, M.D. Board Certified in both adult and child and adolescent psychiatry, she received her MD from University of Texas, Galveston, completed her psychiatric residency at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and completed her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In addition, she completed fellowships in psychopharmacology research at UCSD an in child psychopathology at UCLA. She was an Attending Psychiatrist at Children’s Memorial Hospital and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University in Chicago before coming to The University of Chicago. The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Chicago is led by Karam Radwan, M.D. He received his M.D. from Damascus University, did his training in adult psychiatry at the University of Missouri, and completed his child and adolescent training at Northwestern University and at the University of Michigan. He was the Principal Investigator at on site in the multi-site CAPTN trial on safety and efficacy of SSRI's in children and adolescents, and currently is the PI in looking at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in preschoolers. He is interested in the integration of psychotherapeutic processes and neuroscience. Historically, many residents in our program have chosen to continue their training in child psychiatry. Our child fellowship accepts 3 fellows per year.
The University of Chicago emphasizes intellectual discourse, interdisciplinary work, and collaborative education and research. Our residents have very close contact with the entire faculty in our Department, as well as access to faculty in other Departments and Schools within The University of Chicago. The Department of Psychiatry has 16 full time MD’s and 18 fulltime PhD’s with varied interests and research areas, as well as 25-30 part-time and voluntary MD or PhD faculty who actively teach, supervise and mentor residents. Nearly all faculty are geographic full-time, salaried professors in the University. Their continuous availability and lack of competing practice demands are important elements contributing to the strength of the psychiatric residency.
The University of Chicago is often known as the teacher of teachers. Education is of central importance in our Department: we are all teachers and students at the same time, for it is through teaching that we learn best. Residents have many opportunities to teach medical students, and receive instruction and mentorship to become better teachers and evaluators. While not all residents go on to careers in academia or research, all residents are prepared for a lifetime of learning and teaching by being able critically to assess new information and add it to their knowledge base and skill sets. With the rapid development of knowledge in psychiatry and the neurosciences, this ability is perhaps the most important one a training program can offer its residents.
Below you will find links to other information about our residency program, including rotation schedules, a message from our Chair, and information about the city of Chicago. You will also find links to pictures of our residents at various Departmental training and social events, a list of our current residents, and a description of post-residency activities of our recent graduates. Please feel free to contact me, or any of our current residents, to learn more about our program.
Deborah Spitz, M.D.
Director of Education
Adult Residency Program Director