Chief Residents

Theresa Clemmons, Jennifer Donovan, Amanda Forystek and Alex Gamble

Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa! As chief residents for 2014-2015, we would like to introduce you to our program. We invite you to explore our website and learn more about the opportunities that make our program special. 

Our department was founded in 1920, and was recently ranked #20 in the nation for clinical care in U.S. News and World Report. Our residency training program is outstanding, and provides exceptional clinical opportunities, a focused educational curriculum, and abundant opportunities for resident research. Beyond this, what makes our program unique is the great sense of camaraderie among the residents, fellows, and faculty, as well as among our administrators and support staff.

Currently there are 44 residents: 26 in the categorical psychiatry program and 18 in the combined residency programs (family medicine-psychiatry and internal medicine-psychiatry). There are another five residents in our Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency. We are a diverse group and come from all parts of the world.

Training occurs at two primary locations: the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Iowa City. We believe that our clinical experience is second to none as the residents treat a diverse patient population and see a wide range of psychiatric conditions. Patients travel from all over the region to receive their psychiatric care at the University of Iowa.

The program recognizes the need for residents to be exposed to all aspects of psychiatry. Apart from well-rounded clinical rotations, a strong emphasis is placed on didactic teaching. Our chairman, James Potash, MD, MPH, and program director, Donald Black, MD, are committed to offering a state-of-the-art, evidence-based curriculum. The curriculum consists of multiple components with protected didactic time: Thursday afternoons for PGY1s and PGY2s, and Tuesday mornings for PGY3s and PGY4s. In addition, there is a resident research forum given by a faculty member based on their area of interest once a month. Grand Rounds occur on Tuesday mornings and consists of clinically-oriented lectures from local or national experts. Residents participate in an interactive, ER Seminar bi-weekly, which involves discussing challenging patients with a resident and faculty presenter. At a bi-weekly Journal Club, senior residents present articles on the topic of their choosing and, with faculty participation, learn to critique the literature. Resident evaluations consist of regular oral and written feedback from attending psychiatrists during each rotation. Residents also meet with the program director every six months for a personal evaluation and performance review. Residents take the Psychiatry Residency In-Training Exam (PRITE) each October to assess cognitive knowledge. Finally, clinical skills exams take place every six months to assess the resident’s repertoire of clinical skills (and to satisfy new ABPN requirements). Our program aims to ensure that all residents become competent and well-trained psychiatrists. Residents are encouraged to attend and participate in local, regional, and national conferences to broaden their experience and to network with other psychiatrists.

Our department has many nationally and internationally distinguished faculty members whose research is cutting edge. Residents are encouraged to participate in research, and many collaborate with faculty during their residency on projects ranging from clinical trials, to brain imaging, to molecular genetics.

Living in Iowa is easy and inexpensive. Most residents choose to live in Iowa City or nearby Coralville. Iowa City is a vibrant university town that offers a wide variety of cultural opportunities, restaurants, night life, and outdoor activities. Iowa City is also family-friendly with numerous activities to satisfy the interests of people at all ages. The area offers a terrific Children’s Museum, an excellent public library system, organized sports and cultural activities, and an extensive park/bicycle trail system. The residents are very social and regularly organize dinners, seasonal parties, and other events (such as paintballing!). Please feel free to contact us with your questions. We are also happy to host a visit, should you wish to see the great opportunities we have to offer.

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