Overview of Courses

The University of Chicago Residency Training Program in Psychiatry offers a broad range of courses, while focusing in particular on several domains of learning within psychiatry:

  • Psychopathology and phenomenology
  • Psychopharmacology and somatic treatments
  • Psychotherapy
  • Neuroscience
  • Research

Training in each domain builds from one year to the next, as each year residents take courses that relate to each domain. Integration among the domains is a major task of psychiatric education, and takes place within case conferences, supervision and individual courses.

The Psychopathology and Phenomenology sequence begins in the PGY-1 year courses forcused on an introduction to Psychopathoology and Phenomenology, Emergency Psychiatry, and Addictions. Reinforcement of these concepts occurs during Case Conferences on the Inpatient Units and the Consultation/Liaison-Emergency Room Case Conference attended by PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents.  It continues in the PGY-2 year with Developmental Psychiatry, Child Psychopathology, Neuropsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry. Further discussion of psychopathology and phenomenology occurs in the general and specialty clinics in PGY-3, and in the PGY-3 forensic psychiatry course.

The Psychopharmacology sequence offers basic psychopharmacology in the PGY-1 year and Psychopharmacology II in the PGY-2 year. Advanced Psychopharmacology is open to all residents but targeted to PGY-3s and 4s, focuses on clinical problem-solving, and integrates established and non-pharmacologic neuromodulation treatments including ECT, TMS, and DBS. Additional psychopharmacology is taught within specialty clinic settings.

The Neuroscience sequence begins in the PGY-1 year with an Introduction to Neuroanatomy. This is followed by a year long course spanning parts of PGY-2 and PGY-3 in Neurobiology and Psychiatric Neuroscience.

The Research sequence begins in the PGY-2 year with an introduction to critical thinking and critical reading of the research literature, followed with a course on statistics, and then an introduction to the basic science, translational and clinical research topics and laboratories within the Department. By the PGY-3 year, each resident is engaged in work on a research project, and in the PGY-4 year, each resident makes a research presentation to the Department. 

The Psychotherapy sequence begins in the summer of the PGY-2 year and is organized into specialized sequences of courses:

  • supportive psychotherapy—introduced in PGY-2
  • cognitive behavior therapy—introduced at the end of PGY-2 and continuing for six months in PGY-3, offering both didactic sessions on the use of CBT in mood, anxiety and emotional regulation disorders, and group and individual supervision for CBT cases
  • group therapy—introduced in PGY-3, and augmented by an ongoing process group open to all residents over the course of the entire time of residency
  • family therapy—introduced in PGY-3, with both didactic and supervisory components
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy—introduced in PGY-2 with Introduction Psychotherapies and the two-quarter Psychodynamic Psychotherapy course, continuing in PGY-3 with the Longitudinal Case Conference and Advanced Psychodynamic Theories, and continuing electively in PGY-4 in the Intensive Sequence.

Throughout the four years, residents attend the Clinical Case Conference, CBT Case Conference, and the Interdisciplinary Case Conference, where a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches are discussed.

Courses for all residents

All residents come together on Thursday afternoons for a series of case conferences and seminars. They include the following:

Clinical Case Conference — led by Drs. Tom Kramer and Deborah Spitz, this weekly conference provides a forum for residents to present “problem” cases of all types. Discussion includes diagnostic dilemmas, various psychotherapeutic approaches, transference and countertransference issues, pharmacologic challenges, and other problems residents encounter in treating complex and difficult patients.

Interdisciplinary Case Conference — attended by trainees in psychiatry and psychology and led by interdisciplinary senior faculty, this monthly conference focuses on cases being treated by both residents and trainees in other disciplines. Topics discussed include issues encountered with patients receiving medication and psychotherapy, or individual therapy plus family or couples therapy, from different treatment providers.

CBT Case Conference — led by Dr. Lindsay Brauer and attended by psychology and psychiatry trainees, this seminar considers formulation and treatment issues in cases being treated with cognitive behavior therapy.

Advanced Psychopharmacology — led by Drs. Michael Marcangelo and Joseph Cooper, this weekly conference includes discussions of major psychotropic medication groups, case-based discussions of side effect management and complex pharmacologic approaches to refractory psychiatric disorders of all types. Topics include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anxiolytics, sedative hypnotics, stimulants and other agents, in adults and child patients. Established and emerging neuromodulation techniques are also included. PGY-3 residents share responsibility for presenting topics and leading discussions.

Journal Club — led by Drs. Jon Grant and Emil Coccaro, this seminar for all residents critically examines the psychiatric literature.

Cultural Psychiatry — led by Dr. Seeba Anam, this course addresses differences in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders across cultures and sub-cultures.

Residents as Teachers — led by Drs. Deborah Spitz and Michael Marcangelo, this course introduces residents to the principles of bedside teaching and reviews skills in communicating teaching points, giving and receiving feedback, evaluation, and mentorship. The class includes role playing and other experiential learning techniques.

Departmental Grand Rounds — held throughout the year from September through June. Attended by all faculty and residents, Grand Rounds offers presentations by national and international leaders in the field as well as presentations by our own faculty, residents and other trainees.

Residents’ Process Group — led by Dr. Jeffrey Roth, this group meets 20 times throughout each academic year. Participation is open to all residents.

Inpatient Psychiatry Case Conference — a weekly conference led by Dr. Deborah Spitz and other rotating faculty, a challenging case on the inpatient unit is reviewed in depth and interviewed by the faculty member, followed by a discussion of the case.

C/L Case Conference - led by Dr. Marie Tobin and the CL Chief Resident, cases from the Consultation/Liaison service, the Emergency Room, and the Child and Adolescent Consultation/Liaison service are discussed and a relevant topic is reviewed by a trainee on one of these services.

PGY-1 Courses

The clinical rotations and course curriculum in the PGY-1 year foster the resident’s developing identity as a competent and caring physician, through rotations in medicine, neurology, and inpatient and consultation-liaison psychiatry that offer broad clinical experience, excellent teaching, and appropriate levels of responsibility. PGY-1 didactics begin with a Summer Orientation, designed to introduce basic concepts in patient safety and emergency psychiatry. Every Thursday afternoon, the PGY-1s return to the Department for didactics, including during medicine and neurology rotations. Courses are designed to help integrate the knowledge and skills aquicred on medicine and neurology into their future practice of psychiatry.


  • Emergency Psychiatry — Marie Tobin, M.D.
  • Intro to  Psychopathology and Phenomenology — Joseph Cooper, M.D., and Michael Marcangelo, M.D.
  • Addictions - Jon Grant, M.D.

Psychopharmacology Sequence

  • Psychopharmacology I  Royce Lee, M.D.

Neuroscience SEQUENCE

  • Intro to Neuroanatomy  Joseph Cooper, M.D.

Other Courses

  • Clinical Skills  Deborah Spitz, M.D.
  • Medical Issues in Psychiatric Patients - Joseph Cooper, M.D. and Internal Medicine Faculty

PGY-2 Courses

The PGY-2 year builds on the PGY-1 experiences in medicine and psychiatry, exposing residents to inpatient psychiatric treatment in academic, public and private settings with more complex, dually diagnosed and medically complex patients. Courses in the PGY-2 year are organized to solidify the resident’s understanding of phenomenology, psychopathology and psychopharmacology, to build a foundation in neuroscience, and to develop an understanding of diverse approaches to psychotherapy. Residents attend the Research Seminar and identify a research group with which to work.

Psychopathology/Phenomenology Sequence

  • Development and Child Psychopathology — Seeba Anam, M.D. and Child faculty
  • Neuropsychiatry — Joseph Cooper, M.D.
  • Geriatric Psychiatry — Erin Zahradnik, M.D.

Psychopharmacology Sequence

  • Psychopharmacology II — Joseph Cooper, M.D.

Neuroscience Sequence

  • Neurobiology I — Royce Lee, M.D.

Research Sequence

  • Indroduction to Research; Statistics; and Departmental Research — Kristen Jacobsen, Ph.D.

Psychotherapy Sequence

  •  Introduction to Supportive and Psychodynamic Psychotherapies — Deborah Spitz, M.D.
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy — Allen Kodish, M.D.
  • Introduction to Cognitive Behavior Therapy — Shona Vas, Ph.D.
  • Family Therapy and Supervision- Karam Radwan, M.D. and Khalid Afzal, M.D.

Other Courses:

  • Systems of Care — Daniel Yohanna, M.D.
  • Ethical Issues in Psychiatry — David Berrier, M.D.

PGY-3 Courses

The PGY-3 year is an outpatient year designed to enable residents to function more independently and to follow a large number of patients longitudinally, Through a year-long experience in the general psychiatry clinics, subspecialty clinics and sessions set aside to see psychotherapy patients, residents gain a sense of the breadth and depth of psychiatric disorders and their treatment. Courses deepen the resident’s understanding of psychopathology, psychopharmacology, neuroscience and psychotherapy, and further the resident’s understanding and practical experience of research. Third-year residents collaborate with faculty to develop and present lectures in the Advanced Psychopharmacology conference attended by all residents.

Psychopathology Sequence

  • Forensic Psychiatry — Daniel Yohanna, M.D.

Psychopharmacology Sequence

  • Psychopharmacology Conference — Joseph Cooper, M.D. and Michael Marcangelo, M.D.

Neuroscience Sequence

  • Neurobiology II — Royce Lee, M.D.
  • Psychiatric Neuroscience — Royce Lee, M.D.

Psychotherapy Sequence

  • CBT for Mood and Anxiety Disorders — Shona Vas, Ph.D. and Lindsay Brauer, Ph.D.
  • CBT for Disorders of Emotional Regulation — Shona Vas, Ph.D. and Lindsay Brauer, Ph.D.
  • Group Psychotherapy—Daniel Fridberg, Ph.D.
  • Longitudinal Case Conference—Deborah Spitz, M.D.
  • Advanced Psychodynamic Theories—Norman Kohn, M.D. and Deborah Spitz, M.D.

PGY-4 Courses

In the PGY-4 year, residents solidify administrative and leadership skills, enlarge clinical confidence and autonomy, and focus on individual specialized areas of interest. Each resident assumes a Chief Resident position with significant administrative, supervision and teaching components. Each resident completes a research project and makes a presentation to the Department. Residents continue to follow outpatients in a variety of psychotherapeutic modalities, and may choose elective clinical experiences in specialized psychotherapies, such as group or family therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, or dialectical behavior therapy, to name a few. All residents participate in the ECT service, and can choose to spend a greater portion of PGY4 year on the ECT service in order to be eligible to receive a letter certifying competence in ECT upon graduation. In conjunction with faculty advisors, each resident develops an individualized schedule for the fourth year that reflects the serious pursuit of particular interests. The year is designed to allow maximum flexibility so that each resident may pursue a meaningful area in depth. Courses reflect the clinical, administrative and research activities of the resident.

  • Research Elective — Emil Coccaro, M.D., Jon Grant, M.D., and other research faculty
  • Intensive Sequence — Harry Trosman, M.D.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy — Joseph Cooper, M.D.
  • Chief Residency Administrative Supervision — individual faculty