Dear Resident applicant:
This is a wonderful time to be entering your career in psychiatry!
Stigma is in decline. The public is becoming increasingly aware that mental illnesses are genuine medical disorders and that treatment works. A recent attitude survey revealed that about 90% of our citizens believe that mental and physical health are equally important. This is a striking improvement in public attitude which will have many important consequences, including greater need for services, increases in salary for psychiatrists, increased legislative funding of psychiatric services, and improved respect for the profession and its practitioners.
One of the reasons for this reduction in stigma is public awareness of the great strides being made in psychiatric research, mainly from psychiatric genetics and functional brain imaging. Both of these areas are particularly strong in our department. Our Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics recently published ground breaking findings of genetic loci for major depression in Nature. Our department has its own 3- Tesla fMRI and is active in research involving brain imaging and addictions.
Those who join our residency will find a very strong education program with dedicated educators and wonderful patients who are, of course, always our best teachers. We have an excellent program in psychotherapy education and exceptional fellowship programs in Psychosomatic, Child, and Addictions Psychiatry. Another of our areas of strength is an emphasis on advocacy. It is critical for us to be in the public eye sharing our knowledge and assisting the public understanding of the importance of accurate diagnosis and excellent treatment.
Joining our residency means becoming a part of a large group of professionals, clinicians, educators, and researchers, who are proud of what they do and are very positive and publicly vocal about our field. We deeply believe the future of medicine rests in brain science and that psychiatry is brain science.
I look forward to personally meeting you, and congratulations on entering a wonderful specialty. After years of practice, I still deeply enjoy seeing patients and experiencing the diversity of challenges they bring, and the quiet joy of helping people move ahead with their lives.
Joel J. Silverman, M.D.
James Asa Shield Jr., M.D. Chair in Psychiatry
Thank you for taking a look at VCU! We are delighted that you are interested in our program. The primary aim of our residency program is to prepare you for excellence in clinical practice. We value and cultivate an environment of learning that encourages scholarly inquiry and compassionate patient care, and integration of both the science and art of psychiatry. Our residents interact with a rich diversity of patients in numerous treatment settings in order to maximize their learning and prepare them to practice in whatever setting they wish. The clinical faculty is truly dedicated to teaching and mentorship, and provides supportive guidance to nurture resident development. We are very proud of our psychotherapy training program, which we believe is a cornerstone of your development as a psychiatrist. Faculty supervisors work with residents in multiple psychotherapy modalities, using real-time feedback to enhance resident growth starting in the second year. We aim to recruit residents into our program who value teamwork, and who are motivated to contribute to a sense of community, fostering learning in a safe and supportive environment.
Residency training is challenging, a period of intense growth and reflection. VCU is committed to helping our trainees use this time to develop their potential and become the clinicians, researchers, educators and advocates that they hope to become. We hope this website will provide you with a comprehensive overview of our program, and we look forward to having an opportunity to sharing what our program has to offer in person.