Skip to main content
Menu Search & Directory

Curriculum By Year

Saint Louis University 's psychiatry residency training program offers a robust curriculum to prepare informed and caring mental health practitioners. 

PGY-1

One Month

  • Jefferson Barracks Veterans Association, Addiction Psychiatry
  • Geriatric Experience, Research Opportunity and ECT
  • John Cochran Veterans Association Emergency Medicine
  • John Cochran Veterans Association Inpatient Medicine
  •  Jefferson Barracks Veterans Association Inpatient Psychiatry
  • SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Consultation - Liaison Psychiatry

Two Months

  • John Cochran Veterans Association, Neurology 
  • SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry
  • John Cochran Veterans Association Outpatient Medicine 

PGY-2

Two Months

  • SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Inpatient Psychiatry
  •  SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Emergency Psychiatry
  • SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Consultation - Liaison Psychiatry
  • Jefferson Barracks Veterans Association Inpatient Psychiatry
  • SSM Health DePaul Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital Night Float

Twelve Months

  • Half day per week, Monteleone Hall Clinic - SSM Health Sanint Louis University Hospital
PGY-3

Twelve Months Outpatient

  • Three-four days Monteleone Hall-SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital
  • One-two days community psychiatry at the following locations:
    • BJC Behavioral Health Community Mental Health Clinic
    •  Jefferson Barracks Veterans Association Outpatient Psychiatry
    •  Comtrea Health Center
    • Affinia Child Development Center
PGY-4

Three Months

  • SSM Health St. Louis University Junior Attending Inpatient Psychiatry
  •  Jefferson Barracks Veterans Association Junior Attending Inpatient Psychiatry

Two Months

  • VA Medical Center Elective
  • SSM Health Elective
  • SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry

Six Months Outpatient 

  • Half day/week,  Monteleone Hall-SSM Health Staint Louis University Hospital
  • Half day/week for six months,  Saint Louis University Student Health Clinic
  • Half day/week for six months, Metropolitan St. Louis Psychiatric Center (Forensics)

Day in the Life of a Resident

PGY-1

Headshot of Elias Smith

Elias Smith - PGY1

Rotation: VA Inpatient Neurology

On VA Neurology I will usually get in around 8 a.m. to pre-round on the patients we have. Patients are divided and assigned among the residents and medical students, so it’s a good opportunity to teach and work with them.  Pre-rounding and seeing patients usually takes about an hour. Around 9 a.m. we will staff with our attending. All the attendings are super nice and genuinely care about teaching and helping you to develop your plans of care. Staffing and discussing patients will take somewhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour. From there we will finish notes on our patients that we have been following and usually eat at the same time. On an average day I will finish notes, teaching events, and everything else around 1 p.m.-2 p.m.. 


Headshot of Laura Butler, M.D.

Laura Butler - PGY1

Rotation: Consult Liaison Psychiatry 

I arrive at 6:50 a.m. most mornings for consults (a little earlier on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I have time to round before didactics). I make sure to wake up with enough time to eat and watch the previous night’s late-night comedy (Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert) before heading to work. The morning starts with chart review on patients both new and old. The liaison is consulted on a wide range of patients. Typically, we see anyone who is admitted for a psychiatric concern such as delirium and suicidal ideation; but they also maybe be looking for recommendations for restarting psych medication. After chart reviewing I round alone before we all meet as group and staff with the attending around 9:00 a.m. After this we all round with the attending, put in our notes and recommendations, and see whoever requests our consultation in the afternoon. It can be fast-paced or slow depending on the day, but there is always something new and interesting. At 4:30 p.m. the consult liaison team walks over to the psychiatry call room and sign off with whoever is on call that evening. After work, I tend to either work out, play some guitar, or study (or some mix of the three). At least once a week, I’ll have food and drinks with my fellow interns after work. Sometimes we swap stories about our rotations and just chill.


PGY-2

Headshot of Gabby Maldonado, MD

Gabby Maldonado - PGY2

Rotation: 2W, Acute Psychiatry Unit 

5:30 a.m.: Time to greet the day with an early morning walk with my dog Rocco, and get ready for the day.

6 a.m.: I review charts while sipping chai-tea and listening to Latin beats. 

6:50 a.m.: I arrive at SLU and start pre-rounding with med students. 

8:30 a.m.: Treatment team meeting time! These are interdisciplinary meetings with the social workers, nursing staff, and medical team members to discuss different aspects of patient care. They take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

9 a.m.: It's time for morning rounds!

Noon: I text my classmates to see who's available to grab lunch at the cafeteria

1 p.m.: Afternoons vary by day. I either finish writing notes, go to our outpatient clinic at Monteleone Hall, or see patients in the emergency department. Once a week PGY-2s have clinic days, in which we see patients until 4 p.m., with our attendings as supervisors. If not, we typically stay in the unit to wrap up notes, talk to social work about any concerns, or have discussions with patients. I will also see some patients in the emergency department.

4:30 p.m.: It's time to head home to play with Rocco and make dinner with my fiancée! My favorite after dinner activities includes taking a stroll in either Forest Park or the Central West End, or going to get some ice cream at Jenni’s or Clementine’s Creamery!


Headshot of Rajat Duggirala, M.D.

Rajat Duggirala, M.D.- PGY 2

Rotation: Night Float 

And in a blink of an eye, first year is done. Second year; ready or not here I come! When I was on night float, I usually tried to take mid-afternoon nap, utilizing on my black-out curtains and noise machine.

I’m up by 7 p.m. to get ready and pack food for my midnight meals and whatever cravings that may strike at 2 a.m.. I also feed and crate my dog before I’m off to the hospital by 9 pm. At times, I’ll have a patient or two to see when I arrive. Most times, I played the waiting game with my pager closely clipped to my scrubs. My responsibilities are to address any acute issues on the psychiatric units, triage patients that arrive to the ED, cover any floor consults from the medicine service (which is rare), and do the initial intake for direct admits from outside hospitals.

The first wave of pages usually happens around 11 p.m. when I see patients in the ED. If it works out well,  after I see those patients, I’ll occasionally stumble into the cafeteria (open from midnight to 2 a.m.) for their chicken fingers. They just hit different at that hour.

After that, I’m usually able to settle in for a couple hours of sleep. I’ll have the occasional ask to put in an order for melatonin for this patient but generally, things are quiet. Around 3 or 4 a.m., I’ll get a few more pages, either for direct admits or for management of ED patients. Medicine consult patients or ED patients that don’t meet criteria for psychiatric admission need to be staffed by calling the attending.

At first, the whole 'doing call by yourself thing' seems a little daunting, but I quickly realized that my supervisors prepared me well when I was an intern. Also, if I ever needed the attending, they are just a phone call away (I have always been received warmly even if I’m calling the attending for something small like medication clarification in the middle of the night).

By 6 a.m., I start wrapping things up. I’ll contact floor teams to communicate relevant updates on patients. I'll also update our sign-out document to facilitate patient hand-offs. I’m off at 7 a.m., and will try to throw in a quick work out before returning to my familiarly cozy bed.


PGY-3

Headshot of Amy Gallop, M.D.

Amy Gallop - PGY3

Rotation: Outpatient clinic year 

6 a.m.: I wake up (after 20 minutes of snoozing) and go for a run through Forest Park which is right by my house. If the weather is bad, I use my spinning bike 

7:55 a.m.: I arrive at our outpatient clinic (Monteleone Hall) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Mondays I am at BJC Behavioral Health; a community psychiatry clinic, where we get experience working with caseworkers and a different patient population. Wednesdays, I am at Affinia for outpatient child psychiatry, where I work with an awesome interdisciplinary team of psychologists, social workers, and nursing staff to provide comprehensive mental healthcare to children and adolescents. We get an hour break for lunch so we will often get food at either the hospital cafeteria or Crave (the campus coffee shop) with other PGY3's.

Between patients, I have time to work on various projects related to medical student and resident education, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee, and research papers 

One of the highlights of being in my third year of residency is being able to spend time with my cohort every day of the week! When I have a difficult patient encounter, I can walk into the clinic room next door and discuss it with one of my colleagues. 

5 p.m.: My work day ends unless I am supervising an evening call shift (which is something I usually look forward to doing) that ends at 9 p.m.

Evenings: You can usually find me spending time with my dogs (there are some amazing dog parks and other green spaces in St. Louis) and my husband, trying new restaurants or going to a free events in the city (farmers markets, festivals, concerts, or the theater!)


PGY-4

Headhshot of Scott Akridge, M.D.

Scott Akridge - PGY4

Rotation: On fourth year in general

As a fourth year resident your life is about organization, mentorship, and most importantly, free weekends and nights! Fourth years typically aren't on call(but you can "moonlight" to make extra cash.) You will have four to six electives, which are chosen by you and split between the VA Hospital and Saint Louis University Hospital. 3 days a week you are split inpatient in the morning and outpatient in the afternoon at various clinics. When you are at inpatient, your job is to organize the team of residents and med students teach, and start preparing for boards, your next job, or your fellowship. In general, your patient load will be lower as you are mostly organizing your team and supervising new interns and helping to make each rotation run smoothly. Fourth year is bitter-sweet. You are sad to be in your last year but leaving all your friends and colleagues is sad, but you are also excited because soon you get to turn in that ancient piece of technology on your hip (called a pager), get paid more than minimum wage. Finally after twelve years of school you get to start telepsychiatry and never again having to put pants on for work! If you thought fourth year of medical school was good, just wait, because fourth of psychiatry residency is freaking awesome!

For me as the chief of administrative affairs, I spend time building the call schedule for residents, working with the other two chiefs to plan the weekly meetings and dealing with issues as they come up. I view fourth year as a time of reflection and really trying to figure out what you want to do as you finish up residency. I tailored my electives to things that I could see myself doing after I graduate, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy or a suboxone clinic, as well as balancing a practice where I do a mix of inpatient and outpatient. There are opportunities for research months (not an interest of mine), but plenty of opportunity if you are interested in doing administrative rotations as well. Essentially, you are able to tailor your electives to whatever you are more interested in, be it therapy, inpatient, neuromodulation, consultation liaison, forensics, basically the sky's the limit.


Resident Evaluation

Continuous, individual evaluation is an integral part of our residents' education throughout four years of training. Residents are formally evaluated by faculty after each rotation and on specific encounters during that rotation. Faculty members are also encouraged to provide ongoing feedback to residents about their attitudes, knowledge and skills throughout their time of interaction. In addition, residents are evaluated using the 360 degree evaluation method, including evaluations from resident peers, medical students, patients, nurses and self-evaluation.

Six-Month Evaluation

At six-month evaluation intervals, residents participate in a semi-annual evaluation with program leadership (either PD or APD). This summary is based on resident performance in their assigned rotations, their PRITE examination scores, psychiatry milestones assessed by the Clinical Competency Committee, patient safety and quality improvement modules/projects, scholarly activity, peer reviews and goals for the next six months of training. 

Yearly Evaluation

The residents and faculty are encouraged to evaluate the program on a yearly basis. Residents also evaluate their rotations on a monthly basis. An anonymous, formal written evaluation of the faculty by the residents is elicited after each rotation and each clinical course. This information is provided in an anonymous format to faculty yearly, reviewed by the program and by the division lead/chair at faculty evaluation annual meetings.

Self-Assessment

Residents are encouraged to submit a self-assessment on a semi-annual basis prior to the semi-annual meeting with program leadership and reviewed during the meeting. 

Core Competencies

Resident performance, in general, is also discussed at the semi-annual Clinical Competency Committee meetings as the basis for promotion to the next level and graduation of the chief residents.

Residents are evaluated using the core competencies provided by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). These include patient care, medical knowledge, practice-based medicine, systems-based practice, professionalism and interpersonal and communication skills. Residents are then assessed using milestones, which are knowledge, skills, attitudes and other attributes for each of the competencies organized in a developmental framework from less to more advanced.

Interpersonal, Communication and Teaching Skills

Medical students, nurses, social work and other team members routinely submit their evaluations of the residents concerning their teaching performance. This is included in the Clinical Competency Committee review process every six months. Patients also evaluate the residents on professionalism and communication. Finally, the residents are evaluated by their peers. This 360-degree evaluation process evaluates the residents’ competence in interpersonal and communication skills and teaching skills.

Performance and Professional Development

Complaints concerning resident performance are referred immediately to the program director, who meets with the individual resident for constructive counseling. Residents regularly meet with the director and the associate director to discuss organizational issues, progress in training, performance and professional development. As a result of this process, most conflicts are prevented or resolved and the director continues to personally monitor progress. If deemed necessary, more formal confidential counseling is available at the medical school. When required, remedial work is assigned.

It should be noted that the director places equal importance in rewarding good performance. This is stressed at the periodic meetings with individual residents as well as during case conferences.