A Message from Chief Residents
Hello and welcome to the UTHSCSA psychiatry residency program! We are excited that you are taking the opportunity to consider this program and would like to share with you why this program is unique and how that will lead you to become an excellent psychiatrist.
Here at UTHSCSA, our residents rotate through three inpatient psychiatry hospitals. At the VA hospital, residents work with veterans of all ages. The VA has a plethora of outpatient resources to assist veterans; residents rotate through these sites and have an appreciation for developing outpatient clinical skills. Residents also work with ER psychiatrists at the VA and have the opportunity to learn about psychiatry triage.
Residents also rotate at University Hospital, which is San Antonioâ€™s county hospital. You will work with both insured and noninsured patients. The length of stay varies from a couple of days or approximately a month for the severely ill. Residents learn how to manage acute conditions as well as the potentially complex medication regimens. Frequently patients here are hospitalized under orders of protective custody and even have to be legally compelled to take medications. These situations allow residents to learn about the Texas legal system and how it pertains to psychiatric patients.
Finally, one of the most unique training sites at UTHSCSA is the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC). Since we are a combined civilian/military residency program with the US Air Force, civilian residents rotate at this hospital. Here, residents work with patients who are active duty members in various service branches in the military. SAMMC provides a once in a lifetime experience to manage a unique population with diverse pathology.
We understand the importance of electives as they provide opportunities to familiarize oneself with different research, academic, fellowship, and career interests. At our program, you will have 3 months of electives in your second year of residency. Time for electives continues into your third year as you will have half a day a week devoted to it. Additionally, you will have 4 months of elective time as a fourth year as well as half a day during mandatory rotations. Having elective opportunities early in your residency career allows you explore interests in advance before applying for fellowships. If one opts to choose a research project, then there is plenty of time to conduct thorough research, which can lead to publications, poster presentations, etc. Many residents in our program do electives in research, education with medical students, private practice clinics, and state hospitals, to name a few.
With respect to the number of residents, the psychiatry residency program at UTHSCSA is the largest in Texas. However, there is strong comradeship amongst the residents. For instance, the residents all congregate together on Tuesday afternoons for conferences and didactics, which allows us to get to know and learn with each other. The camaraderie doesnâ€™t end after business hours; for instance, our program participates in various intramural sports. Residents also organize other social activities throughout the month. Finally, there is a 2 day retreat held in the fall where residents are excused from clinical responsibilities to discuss issues and changes in the program and socialize amongst each other. We appreciate the combination of working hard but also having an enriched personal life.
Overall, we have enjoyed our time in the program and believe you will, too. We thank you for your time and interest in learning about the UTHSCSA psychiatry residency program and look forward to meeting you during the residency application process.
The 2014-2015 chief residents:
Chad Hooten MD
Amanda Helminiak MD