Our psychiatry residency provides training that allows our residents to fulfill the academic criteria set forth by the ACGME through providing clinical training at diverse training sites and extensive didactic courses and conferences. During that process, residents develop into competent and well-rounded specialists in all aspects of general psychiatry and clinical practice.

Psychotherapy is a strong component of our didactic and clinical training program as residents in their first year with weekly supervision begin providing supportive psychotherapy to patients. With the information garnered through didactic courses specifically focused on the theory and delivery of psychotherapy, residents advance to providing cognitive behavioral and psychodynamic psychotherapy with additional hours of supervision.

Our program has maintained our full didactic schedule during the COVID pandemic. Through the Bluejeans platform, residents can virtually attend and participate in all of their classes, conferences, grand rounds, etc. Residents continue to receive protected time to attend these components of their education.


Rotations are scheduled to meet ACGME requirements and support the professional development of the psychiatric resident.

First year

The first year of residency consists of six months of inpatient psychiatry at the two major training sites, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (SNGH) and the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Four months of internal medicine and two months of neurology occur at the same training sites.

Emphasis is placed on assessment, development of comprehensive differential diagnoses, biopsychosocial formulation, and development of a treatment plan. Participation in treatment teams allows the resident to develop collegial and leadership skills.

  • Inpatient Psychiatry: 6 months
  • Internal Medicine: 4 months
  • Neurology: 2 months

Second year

The second year consists of three, three-month rotations in inpatient, consult, and emergency psychiatry at SNGH. Child psychiatry at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) is a two-month rotation. An additional one-month rotation in addiction medicine at the VAMC or geriatric psychiatry at SNGH completes the year.

Emphasis is placed on an immersive experience in assessment of psychiatric patients outside of the inpatient unit. The child psychiatry rotation provides experiences in inpatient, consult, and outpatient psychiatry. Residents learn the importance of family integration through exposure to Parent Child Interaction Training.

  • Inpatient Psychiatry: 3 months
  • Consult and Liaison: 3 months
  • Emergency Psychiatry: 3 months
  • Child Psychiatry: 2 months
  • Addiction Medicine: 1 month

Third year

Third year is a twelve-month rotation in outpatient services at local community health centers and several VAMC outpatient clinics as well as the main outpatient practice at the hospital.

Emphasis is placed on longitudinal care of outpatients provides the psychiatry resident the opportunity to learn how patients manage psychiatric illness in their world.

  • Outpatient Services: 12 months

Fourth year

The fourth year rotations include a senior resident/junior attending rotation at the inpatient units at SNGH and VAMC where the resident essentially is responsible for the care of the patients on an inpatient service.

This experience serves as an element of the residents developing progressive responsibility for academic and patient care activities while teaching more junior residents and receiving supervision on team management.

Diverse elective options are present as well, including rotations in

  • Sleep Medicine,
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
  • Pain Management Clinic
  • Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) Team,
  • electroconvulsive therapy,
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Team
  • Mental Health Intensive Case Management Program
  • research
  • Telepsychiatry
  • Another option is to add an advanced rotation in child or consult psychiatry, or neurology.

Scholarly Activity and Research

Each resident is expected to be involved in some form of psychiatric scholarly activity which can include clinical research, quality improvement, curriculum development, or case presentations and publications. Residents are strongly encouraged to present at local, state, or national level conferences.

Lectures and other educational activities

Managed care experience, quality improvement, and patient safety programs are also part of our residents’ learning experience.

Departmental Grand Rounds, weekly didactics, ward rounds, resident workshops, and clinical conferences supplement our clinical training. Residents attend one-half-day per week of lectures throughout the residency. This time is protected; residents are excused from clinical duties in order to attend lectures. 

 Our didactic curriculum spans all four years of training beginning with the basics of psychiatric care introduced in Intern Boot Camp during the first two months of training and culminating in a scholarly activity project. Our topics and lectures are reviewed yearly by the Curriculum Committee, which utilizes a combination of ACGME competencies, evaluations, and annual in-service PRITE review to continually improve our Didactic Curriculum. All areas of psychiatry from neurobiology to psychotherapy are taught in an interactive format in our small class sizes. Didactics have continued despite the COVID pandemic by utilizing the BlueJeans computer platform. The listing below introduces you to the topics covered in our curriculum that provide our residents the essential knowledge necessary to become a competent psychiatrist.

  • History of Psychiatry
  • Journal Club (Critical Review of Evidence-Based Medicine)
  • Meaning and Purpose Seminar
  • Patient Safety Conference (M&M)
  • PRITE Review
  • Protected time for Scholarly Activity
  • Research Design
  • Residents as Teacher Program


  • Addiction Medicine
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Consult & Liaison Psychiatry
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Neuroscience I
  • Neuroscience II using National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative
  • Psychiatric Genetics
  • Psychopharmacology-beginning and advanced
  • Sleep Medicine


  • Eating Disorders
  • Emergency Psychiatry
  • DSM5 Review
  • High Yield Common Outpatient Diagnostic Topics
  • Interviewing: Beginning and Advanced
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychodynamic Formulation
  • Psychological Assessment




  • Child Development and Psychopathology
  • Cultural Psychiatry
  • HIV Health
  • Intellectual Disabilities
  • Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Women’s Health
  • Community Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Psychiatric Ethics I &II
  • Psychiatry in the Modern Era
  • Public Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Transition to Practice
  • Brief Psychotherapy
  • Clinical Case Conference
  • Beginning and Advanced Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Supportive Psychotherapy