Program Director's Welcome

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.  In recognition of its high quality and comprehensive clinical and educational programming, the Adult Psychiatry program has received continuing accreditation from the ACGME with no citations.

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience 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 faculty has leading experts in diverse areas spanning clinical subspecialities and basic neuroscience.

Deborah Spitz, MD, oversees all educational programs in the Department as the Vice Chair for Education and Academic Affairs, and Director of Residency Training. Dr Spitz has been 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 Fellowship at the University of Chicago is led by Karam Radwan, MD  He received his MD 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 is interested in the integration of psychotherapeutic processes and neuroscience. Historically, many residents in our Adult 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 17 full time MD’s and 19 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 many 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.

On this site you will find links to other information about our residency program, including rotation schedules, a message from our Chair, a list of our current residents, and a description of post-residency activities of our recent graduates. Please feel free to contact us, or any of our current residents, to learn more about our program.


Deborah Spitz, MD

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

Zehra Aftab, MD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience