Physician Patient

Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine

About the Program

The MCW-MKE residency program is dedicated to providing the highest quality training for future psychiatrists. Learn about the distinguishing features that set our program apart from others and see why our graduates rank higher than the national mean in positive training experience.

I specifically ranked this program as #1 over several Ivy League programs because MCW Psychiatry is about learning and takes a very holistic approach to fostering its learners which shows in every aspect of the program and the opportunities we receive.

Program Overview

The MCW-MKE Psychiatry Residency program is a long-established program with a unique curriculum that maximizes the breadth and depth of experiences. Different than most programs that offer ambulatory psychiatry in the PGY 3 year our outpatient year of psychiatry is during second year of training with continuing psychotherapy clinics throughout the rest of residency.

mke-psych-residency-rankingThis unique curriculum allows for residents to have continuity with patients for several years. It also allows residents to build on the knowledge, skills and perspective learned in outpatient psychiatry when they return to the inpatient, subspecialty and consultation liaison settings in the third year, enhancing the learning and skill of the PGY 3 year. Third year inpatient rotations add the dimension of group psychotherapy, while fourth year is rounded out with neurology, integrated care, psychotherapy and electives.

Our program is fortunate to work with multiple health systems in the Milwaukee area to give residents an experience in a diverse range of settings – from a County Psychiatric Hospital to a private psychiatric hospital to an Academic Medical Center. Residents rotate at Psychiatric Crisis Service (PCS) – a busy psychiatric emergency room with over 10,000 visits each year, serving all of Milwaukee County. Second year residents spend half of their time in our free-standing psychotherapy center where they learn supportive psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Consultation-liaison (CL) psychiatry is another area of strength with residents doing five months of CL, including one at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Fourth year residents carry on their CL experience in the outpatient setting, serving as consultants in one of our integrated care clinics. The consultation clinics span the range of integrated care, from co-located care in the Perinatal Clinic to a public health approach with care coordinators in several of our Primary Care Clinics.

Distinguishing Features

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  • The Medical College of Wisconsin is also home to fellowships in Addiction, Child and Adolescent, Geriatrics, Forensics and Psychosomatics. Our Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship is moving through the accreditation process. In addition, fellowships are available to Psychiatry Graduates in Sleep Medicine and Palliative Care. Multiplicity of training sites, including a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, County mental health facility, and private hospitals offers access to diverse patient populations and a well-rounded training experience preparing residents for any career.

  • Starting outpatient rotations in the second year allows residents to treat outpatients continuously over three years.

  • Psychiatric Crisis Service (PCS) is a unique psychiatric emergency room setting at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division where residents learn to effectively manage high acuity patients and psychiatric emergencies.

  • Residents return to inpatient and consult rotations in the third year after having the new skill and perspective of the outpatient year. This approach helps to build on their earlier experiences.

  • Faculty includes psychoanalysts from the Wisconsin Psychoanalytic Society and experts in cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) as part of our unique psychotherapy training program.

  • Specialty Eating Disorders Rotation during PGY 3 year at one of the nation’s best hospitals for treatment of eating disorder.

  • Three month blocks in the PGY 1 year permit, at most, only three consecutive months away from psychiatry.

  • Experiential Group offers each class of residents a supportive forum to develop class cohesiveness and draw from mutual experiences. In second year, residents have monthly mindfulness groups, in addition to their experiential group.

  • Integrated Care Rotations for PGY 4 residents to work in consultation clinics embedded within Primary Care.

  • One month of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry during the PGY 1 year allows for early exposure for those interested in or eager to learn more about the field.

  • Numerous elective options, including further specialty care, research opportunities or ability to work in a rural setting.

  • Opportunity to become a part of Medical Student education through committee work and/or teaching on clinical rotations and didactics.

  • Support for loved ones through the Resident Spouse/Significant Other Association (RSA).

  • An on-call system of reasonable frequency with no in-house overnight call.

Staff are great, right balance of autonomy and supervision.