How to Get Residency for Psychiatry in the USA

Residency for Psychiatry in the USA

Psychiatrists specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental health disorders, focusing on mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects. While they know general medicine and neurology, they primarily focus on psychiatric conditions.

These professionals are also responsible for treating general medical and neurological disorders related to psychiatry.

As in most other medical fields, you will need to undergo residency in psychiatry before becoming a certified professional psychiatrist.

What is Residency for Psychiatry

A residency in psychiatry is designed to offer a complete and extensive education in clinical psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.

The didactic portion of the curriculum is designed to provide expansive knowledge, including current psychiatry theories.

The clinical experience and exercises are designed to provide relevant clinical expertise in evaluating a range of psychiatric illnesses and gaining competence in psychiatric treatment.

Residency programs in psychiatry across the United States cover a broad range of psychotherapeutic techniques to prepare residents for diverse clinical challenges

How to Choose the Best Residency for Psychiatry

Leading medical schools collaborate with leading hospitals and healthcare providers engaged in psychiatry to mentor and guide participants in the residency for psychiatry.

These healthcare providers are generally engaged in innovative research, quality clinical services, comprehensive training and complete medical student education.

Following a residency in psychiatry, you become fully competent to practice modern psychiatry by combining it with the most reputed conventional treatment methods and high-tech strategies.

The main aim of residency for psychiatry programs is in line with the goals of adult psychiatric training.

This includes an extensive list of requirements as defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Psychiatry Residency Review Committee.

Ideally, a residency for a psychiatry program should include training that will train the participants in the following:

  • Becoming competent sufficiently for early identification of psychiatric disorders in adults and children alike. The training should teach differential diagnoses using lab and clinical methods, as well as the treatment methods of every psychological, behavioral, biological, and social technique.
  • The various mainstream theories and views in psychiatry are to understand the psychological, ethnic, economic, social, and biological factors that direct the development of psychiatric ailments and their treatment methods.
  • You must have a strong sense of responsibility and respect for the patients. You must also be committed to upholding high ethical standards and continuing your professional development.

What does a Residency in Psychiatry entail

Ideally, a residency in psychiatry emphasizes a bio-psycho-social approach to understanding mental ailments.

There should be a deep commitment to teaching psychodynamic formulae and methods of dynamic psychotherapy.

As a psychiatry resident, you should be able to learn psychodynamic principles using didactic methodology under the close supervision of a certified psychiatrist.

The curriculum should also include training in the use of conventional psychotherapies such as dialectical behavior, cognitive behavior, supportive therapies, and family system therapy techniques.

Make sure that the curriculum involves strong biological psychiatry portions.

These should include psychopharmacology, neuropsychiatry and neuroscience.

Psychopharmacology is a key component of psychiatric residency training integrated throughout the residency years. This should also be taught to you during the clinical rotation period.

The training during your residency should also teach methods to integrate psychopharmacology with psychotherapeutic treatment techniques.

This should also include managing the psychopharmacological treatment of patients.

In essence, you will need to complete a minimum of a four-year residency in psychiatry at an accredited hospital or healthcare provider.

What are the Sub-Specialties to Choose from Following Residency for Psychiatry

Psychiatry offers several subspecialties that require fellowship training after residency. The duration of fellowship for addiction psychiatry and other subspecialties can vary and should be verified with current medical education standards.

You can also choose to undergo child and adolescent psychiatry with a fellowship of 2 years. A forensic psychiatry fellowship of 1 year, geriatric psychiatry with the fellowship of 1 year.

Apart from these, there are several niche sub-specialties within psychiatry, too.

Hence, you can select a one-year fellowship in pain management or a psychosomatic medicine subspecialty. You can also choose sleep medicine as a subspecialty with a one-year fellowship requirement.

What is the Average Salary in Psychiatry

The field of psychiatry is well-paying from a career point of view. The median clinical salary for psychiatrists in the US can be up to $247,356 per year.


Ensure that your job prospects as a certified psychiatrist are broad and fruitful.

You should make sure that you choose an ACGME-recognized healthcare provider and medical institution to complete your residency in psychiatry.

See Also

Residency for Family Medicine

Residency for Neurosurgery

Residency for Surgeons

Current Version
April 1, 2024
Updated By
Daniyal Haider, MD
November 15, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover

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