Clinical rotations and didactic lectures in the first year are designed to equip residents with basic skills in psychiatry to build upon in future training. There is considerable emphasis placed on crisis management and diagnosis.
All first year residents rotate for six months in inpatient psychiatry. Three months are spent at the Arkansas State Hospital Acute Adult Unit and three additional months are spent at the Acute and Medically Involved units at the Psychiatric Research Institute.
Other required rotations include two months of neurology and one month of Inpatient Internal Medicine. All are completed at the VA Medical Center; however, first year residents have an option to complete one of the two months of neurology at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
The other three months are completed in outpatient primary care. First year residents spend one month each rotating through the VA ER and VA Urgent Care. The other month offers the option of VA Women’s Clinic or the General Pediatric Clinic at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Didactic time is protected for residents, even while assigned to other departments, and occurs every Thursday afternoon. Residents have lunch together and then break into PGY level groups for lectures and grand rounds. In addition to formal lectures, other educational activities include problem based learning, practice PRITE in-service exams, and meetings with faculty.
First year residents are required to take two types of call, short and long, all under the supervision of an upper level resident. Short call is Monday through Friday from 5PM-9PM. First year residents are responsible for taking approximately one short call per a week. Long call is Saturday and Sunday from 9AM-9PM. First year residents are responsible for taking approximately one weekend call per a month. There is no psychiatry call assigned during the intern’s rotation on internal medicine wards.