General Psychiatry Residency Training Program


First Module

The first year begins with a six month primary care module which includes training experiences in medicine and neurology. A four month medical internship is conducted under the auspices of the Department of Internal Medicine. For those interested in careers in child psychiatry, a similar internship with the Department of Pediatrics is offered. A two month neurology rotation completes this training sequence.

Second Module

The next training module is a twelve month block during which the ACGME requirements for general inpatient experience are satisfied through rotations at the James A. Haley VA Hospital and the Tampa General Hospital. Specialty inpatient rotations on the substance abuse, geriatric, and post traumatic distress disorder units are also available.

Third Module

The third module is twelve months long and focuses on ambulatory psychiatry. It is based at the University Psychiatry Center Outpatient Clinic and the James A. Haley VA Mental Health Clinic. At the University Psychiatry Center, residents are assigned to a team and are involved in general psychiatry clinics including long term psychotherapy clinic and child psychiatry clinic. Each team follows its own patients offering a variety of treatment options including medication management, individual, group and/or family therapy. Supervision of evaluations and treatment is provided through the faculty members on the team. At the James A. Haley VA Hospital, the residents are involved in both patient evaluation clinics and longitudinal patient care.

Fourth Module

The fourth module is designed to allow residents to consolidate their diagnostic, therapeutic and administrative skills. Residents will be involved in six months of inpatient consultation liaison training, two months of training in the psychiatry emergency room at the James A. Haley VA Hospital and ongoing outpatient involvement in the University Psychiatry Center specialty clinics.

The Department offers psychiatric consultation to primary care physicians and other health professionals at primary care sites where patients with underlying psychiatric problems may go undiagnosed or under treated. Further community based outpatient opportunities are available for interested residents at the Judeo Christian Health Clinic.

Residents have the opportunity to choose from a variety of experiences and clinical settings to create a schedule which reflects their areas of interest. During this module, the residents gain experience as supervisors and have greater participation in department educational activities. The fourth year resident also continues to treat their long term psychotherapy cases with ongoing one on one supervision. Opportunities for teaching, research and pursuit in areas of special interest are available. The chief residency is a fourth year position and carries both administrative and educational responsibilities.


The Didactic Program

The core theoretical training is provided through weekly multidisciplinary clinical conferences and didactic seminars. The curriculum provides systematic instruction in neurobiology, psychopharmacology, genetics, child and adult development and major psychological theories, including learning theory and psychodynamic theory, as well as consideration of material from social and behavioral sciences. Specialized seminars also cover topics such as ethics, forensic psychiatry, epidemiology, psychopathology and the treatment of psychiatric illness.

Psychotherapy Training

Long term dynamic psychotherapy is considered an essential component of the resident experience and is obtained through the USF Psychotherapy Clinic. This experience provides a perspective on the nature of the psychotherapeutic process and a basis for the understanding of a variety of therapeutic modalities. Participation in the adult psychotherapy program is required during the outpatient year and can be extended beyond that time. Minimum commitment is four hours per week for 12 months to include two hours of patient contact, one hour of supervision and one hour of seminars. Most senior residents continue to follow outpatient cases.


Each resident has a minimum of two assigned faculty supervisors at all times during the residency. Assignment of supervisors is reviewed twice a year to permit the resident to work with practicing psychiatrists with experience in different areas.

Intradepartmental Conferences

Grand Rounds are held weekly at the University Psychiatry Center. Topics are presented by faculty, residents and visiting guest speakers. In addition to the grand rounds presentations, the visiting lecturers are invited to spend time with residents as consultants or in an open discussion over lunch.

Bi-weekly case conferences are held on Tuesdays at the James A. Haley VA Hospital. These conferences include case presentations and discussions of general and specialty topics which are of interest to the resident in training.

Journal club is held for all residents and faculty on a monthly basis at the University Psychiatry Center.

Post call conference is held each morning at the James A. Haley VA Hospital to review the clinical issues of the preceding on call experience.

Clinical Practice Exercise

An annual examination assesses development of clinical skills. Residents are observed while conducting a diagnostic interview. The resident's ability to elicit relevant clinical data and lead an organized discussion of differential diagnosis, comprehensive biopsychosocial formulation and treatment plan is evaluated. The exercise concludes with feedback from faculty observers. Residents find this useful to monitor their progress in the acquisition of clinical skills.

PRITE Examination

Residents sit for the Psychiatric Resident In Training Examination (PRITE) each year. Results of this nationally standardized cognitive examination are used to provide educational feedback to the resident and the training director, not only in regard to the individual's performance but also in terms of monitoring the effectiveness of the program's didactic experience.

Board Certification

Graduating residents are well prepared to take the specialty examination offered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Residents are encouraged to do so at their earliest opportunity. Over the past 10 years, 93% of all graduates from this program have taken and passed the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology examinations.


Research is a significant part of our mission at the University of South Florida Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences. Through the generosity and support of individuals throughout the Tampa Bay community, the University of South Florida Institute for Research in Psychiatry was officially opened in January 1992 as part of the TGH University Psychiatry Center. It houses 15,000 square feet of research space that is devoted to discovering the causes of mental, addictive and behavioral disorders and developing effective interventions to prevent, treat and conquer them. Major current research areas include the molecular biology of mental illness, the genetic underpinning of Alzheimer's Disease, and applied clinical research. There are numerous opportunities for residents to participate in ongoing projects or to initiate one of their own. Residents are encouraged to participate in research, but it is not a requirement of graduation. Research in the Department is supported by the Friends of Institute for Research in Psychiatry, a community group that is interested in helping eradicate mental illness. Research at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital explores topics such as electroconvulsive therapy, use of SPECT brain scans, the genetics of alcoholism and treatment outcome studies.

Resident Involvement

At the University of South Florida, residents are represented on Department and College of Medicine committees, and work effectively within the administrative structure to achieve solutions to problems as they arise or proactively to avert unnecessary disruptions in the overall educational mission.

The residency group is cohesive and well organized, with twice weekly resident meetings used as a focus of resident interactions. These meetings are used to discuss issues, get reports from the resident representatives of departmental committees, and provide a forum to discuss the residents' role in medicine and in the community.

Residents in psychiatry are also active in leadership roles of the Housestaff Association. The Housestaff Association is comprised of residents from all departments at the USF College of Medicine. It provides a forum for discussion of resident specific issues and an opportunity for resident concerns to be represented on a variety of committees both at the College of Medicine and the hospital sites. The Association also sponsors a number of social events to promote interaction with our colleagues in different specialties.

USF and Tampa Bay

The University of South Florida is one of the new universities created in the 20th century. The 15th largest university in the United States and still growing, USF has built a solid reputation as a leader in learning, offering comprehensive state of the art, student centered programs.

Founded in 1956, USF serves over 36,000 students, with nearly 200 academic programs on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Lakeland. USF's libraries hold some 1.4 million volumes and a computer link to hundreds of data bases and international communications through the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Located in the metropolitan area of Tampa Bay, USF contributes to the well being of its immediate urban neighborhoods through research and service. In 1995, USF surpassed the $100 million mark in sponsored research, contracts and grants and is fast becoming a model urban research university
USF's economic impact on the Tampa Bay region totals $1.1 billion. The University has an operating budget close to $500 - million and employs three of every 100 Tampa Bay area residents. The majority of USF's 130,000 graduates continue to live in the region.

The Tampa Bay region is the third fastest growing metropolitan area in the country and offers residents the best in a pleasant life style at a reasonable cost-of-living. A sub-tropical climate with an annual average temperature of 72.5 degrees makes golf, tennis, jogging and biking possible year round with water sports readily available along the beaches, bays and rivers adjoining the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful beaches are less than 30 minutes away from the USF campus. The Tampa metropolitan area supports the Tampa Museum of Art, the Florida Orchestra as well as theater and dance at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Ruth Eckerd Hall, Bayfront Center and other venues. Professional football, hockey and baseball are represented by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Beginning in March each year, this area is home to nine major league baseball teams for spring training.

The Tampa Bay region is served by an international airport, consistently ranked among the best in the country. Florida's second largest tourist attraction, Busch Gardens, is just two miles from USF while Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World are less than a 90 minute drive from Tampa. The Lowry Park Zoo is another family favorite and the Florida Aquarium, which showcases the unique ecosystems of our region, is located on Tampa's downtown waterfront.

Tampa's history dates back to the mid1880's when a thriving cigar industry brought people to this exciting port city. Ybor City is a large Hispanic historic district which is home to a number of small art galleries, shops and restaurants. Ybor City is also the epicenter of Tampa's night life. Tampa is an exciting city and an enjoyable place to work and play.

Isis Marrero, M.D.
Director, General Psychiatry Training Program