A number of subspecialties are offered within the field of psychiatry. Except for child and adolescent psychiatry, most require a one-year fellowship, which follows the standard four years of general psychiatry residency. When completed, one is eligible to take the ABPN board certification in general psychiatry and subspecialties.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training emphasizes developmental considerations. Biological, sociocultural, psychodynamic, behavioral, and familial aspects of childhood and adolescence and their problems are covered in both clinical and didactic experiences. Consultation with ambulatory and hospital pediatric services is an essential part of child and adolescent training. In addition, residents consult with schools, courts and social welfare agencies.
Geriatric Psychiatry emphasizes the biological and psychological aspects of normal aging, the psychiatric impact of acute and chronic physical illness, and the biological and psychosocial aspects of the pathology of primary psychiatric disturbances of older age.
Addiction Psychiatry subspecialty training is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of addictive disorders as well as the treatment of persons with complicated, comorbid psychiatric and substance use disorders.
Forensic Psychiatry provides the psychiatrist with special skills necessary to deal with the legal system, including both civil and criminal aspects. The training includes work in evaluation competency, the insanity defense, and providing court testimony. Additionally, trainees have clinical experiences with patients in jails and prisons.
Psychosomatic Medicine (also known as Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry)
Over ten million Americans suffer from co-morbid chronic medical and psychiatric illnesses, making the need to properly evaluate, diagnose and treat such individuals a major public health mandate and priority. Psychiatric morbidity has serious consequences in the setting of medical illness causing increased functional disability, increased economic burden, and increased medical and psychiatric morbidity. We know that treatment of psychiatric illness in patients with chronic medical illness is effective and has significant positive impact on both medical and psychiatric outcomes.
A wide variety of research is being conducted in psychiatry and many residency programs offer funded fellowships for additional training opportunities in research after graduation. The APA Division of Research publishes Directory of Research Fellowship Opportunities in Psychiatry which lists research fellowships at over 65 institutions. In addition, each program listed in this Directory identifies funded research opportunities at their site.
Triple Board Residency (Psychiatry/Pediatrics/Child & Adolescent Psychiatry): A five-year combined residency which integrates psychiatry, pediatrics and child and adolescent psychiatry. Visit the Triple Board website for more info.
Psychiatry/Family Practice: five-year combined residency. Ten institutions currently offer this combined program.
Psychiatry/Internal Medicine: five-year combined residency. Seventeen institutions currently offer this combined program.
Psychiatry/Neurology: five-to-six year combined residency. Ten institutions currently offer this combined program.
For a listing of residency and specialty fellowship programs, visit www.acgme.org