From the beginning of residency, the NRTP promotes the integrated and parallel pursuit of clinical and research interests. This approach models a typical academic career, where research, clinical, and educational endeavors are pursued in concert. Dovetailing clinical and research missions fosters an integrated identity as a physician-scientist and promotes translational thinking about investigational approaches to psychiatric illness.
Post Graduate Year I & II Overview
In the first half of the residency training, NRTP residents focus on clinical training, finding a mentor and defining their scientific interests. There are 3 continuous months of protected research time in the PGY II year, as well as 3 months of service on an inpatient psychiatry research unit, one of the few of its kind in academia.
Post Graduate Year I
The intern year consists of 6 months of internal medicine, 2 months of neurology, 1 month of child and adolescent psychiatry, and 3 months of adult inpatient psychiatry. Didactics are provided by each clinical service. During the first year, residents attend the NRTP Seminar, and begin to identify their research interests and mentor.
|Rotation||Rotation Length||Research Activities|
Child/Adolescent Inpatient Psychiatry
Adult Inpatient Psychiatry
Post Graduate Year II
The PGY II year provides the core training in acute care psychiatry. It includes 1 month of psychiatry emergency service, 2 months of the consult-liaison service, 2 months of substance abuse treatment training, 1 month-long rotation in geriatric psychiatry, 3 months of general inpatient psychiatry and 3 months of protected research time.
For residents in the NRTP, the inpatient psychiatry rotation occurs on the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU), which houses a 12-bed unit to admit patients participating in research studies. The research studies include clinical trials for novel treatments for anxiety, mood, psychotic, sleep and substance use disorders and provide residents with a unique opportunity to care for patients participating in clinical research and to become intimately involved in the research. To promote translational research, the CNRU is also located across the hall from the Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry, a group of basic neuroscience laboratories pursuing the neurobiological basis of psychiatric illness and cellular and behavioral psychopharmacology.
An additional 3-month elective block, the Clinical and Academic Skills Enhancement (CASE) Elective, provides time for NRTP residents to develop and pursue their individual research interests. NRTP residents continue to participate in the weekly NRTP Seminar throughout the PGY II year.
|Rotation||Rotation Length||Research Activities|
|Psychiatric Emergency Department||1 month||
|Consult-Liaison Service||2 months|
|Substance Abuse Disorders||2 months|
|Geriatric Psychiatry||1 month|
|Inpatient Adult Psychiatry on the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, (CNRU)||3 months|
|Clinical and Academic Skills Enhancement Elective (CASE)||3 months|
Post Graduate Year III-IV Overview
In the second half of their residency, NRTP trainees develop the research foundation for their career, by participating in on-going research in the outpatient research clinics and having 25% (third year) and 90% (fourth year) protected time for research. Trainees represent a wide array of research interests (including outside the Department of Psychiatry) and share these interests at the weekly NRTP seminar. Resident research spans the entire spectrum from basic to clinical research, including clinical trials, neuroimaging, molecular and cellular neuroscience, genetics, and bioinformatics.
During the PGY III and IV years, trainees can arrange to take coursework that will aid in their research, offered through the Department of Psychiatry, the Yale School of Medicine, and the Department of Neurobiology at Yale University. There are also opportunities for paid moonlighting as psychiatrists in inpatient, consult, and emergency settings, as well as moonlighting in research studies as study physicians.
Post Graduate Year III
During the PGY III year, NRTP residents are trained in outpatient psychiatry and outpatient clinical research simultaneously. The faculty work with residents to construct a schedule best suited to their training and career goals, while also ensuring excellent clinical training and fulfilling national ACGME requirements. Residents typically spend one or more days per week at the West Haven VA medical center, for outpatient management of a wide variety of diagnoses. Residents undergo training in psychological interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and group therapy. They also continue working with long-term patients in psychodynamic therapy (PGY II to PGY IV) and take call shifts in the psychiatric emergency room.
Additionally, all NRTP residents work at outpatient research clinics of their choice. Residents treat patients with psychotherapy and medications, help evaluate whether patients are eligible to participate in research, regularly assess patients in research protocols, and work with a wide variety of study staff.
Residents can gain additional expertise in neuroimaging, cognitive assessments, brain stimulation techniques, and bioinformatics depending on their research clinic. A wide variety of clinics are affiliated with the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit, providing continuity from the inpatient research unit rotation from the first half of residency. Residents may also elect to work at the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Unit, various child psychiatry clinics at the Yale Child Study Center, or any other research clinic approved by the program. There is at least 25% protected research time for PGY III NRTP trainees to devote to their own research with their chosen mentor.
Post Graduate Year IV
PGY IV residents can have up to 90% protected time for research. They are expected to publish their work by the end of residency, and usually apply for various fellowships, grants and awards (including K awards). Residents can arrange for any clinical experience that they would like, and most continue some substantial clinical work that is beneficial for their future careers. Senior residents often take on chief resident responsibilities, including NRTP chief resident, research clinic chief residents, or other program-wide positions. The program assists the resident in arranging post-graduation plans (fellowships, jobs, major career development grants like K awards, etc.).
A core component of the NRTP is the weekly Neuroscience Research Training Program Seminar. This is a forum where trainees, faculty and invited psychiatry researchers discuss current developments in the field, their own research and mentor each other about research careers over lunch. The NRTP Seminar is a part of the NRTP curriculum for the entire four years.
The Psychiatry Department at Yale has a long tradition of mentoring pioneers in molecular, clinical and translational psychiatry.
Choosing a Mentor
During the application process, applicants will have the opportunity to meet faculty members who share their scientific interests. Throughout the PGY I and II years, trainees meet and work with research faculty in the department, by attend the informal NRTP Seminars and participating in research protocols during their inpatient rotation on the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU). The program director and faculty members are readily available to discuss trainees' research and guide them in the identification of their mentors. Most NRTP residents have chosen to work with mentors who are faculty members in the Department of Psychiatry; however, any Yale faculty member studying neuroscience, psychology or psychiatry can be a mentor for an NRTP trainee.
Recent NRTP graduates have had diverse research interests, such as:
- gene-environment interactions in the development of depression,
- mindfulness for substance abuse treatment,
- rodent models of maternal deprivation, and the
- role of the basal ganglia in habit learning.
The projects can be clinical, translational or basic research, or a combination. Trainees choose projects by their PGY III year, in collaboration with their mentor. NRTP faculty members provide advice and guidance in the choice of the project. By the middle of the PGY III year, trainees have begun data collection so that they are able to present preliminary results by the middle of the PGY IV year. By the end of the PGY IV year, residents are expected to have made an original research contribution, resulting in publication.
Other Research Training in Psychiatry at Yale University
The Albert J. Solnit Integrated Training Program is designed to train physician-scientists in child psychiatry. Residents in the Integrated Program are invited to attend the weekly NRTP seminar, and form, with the NRTP, a large and vital research community for trainees. Research funding is also available for research in the PG IV year for residents in the adult psychiatry program.