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Public Psychiatry Track

Track Objectives:

  • To provide psychiatry residents with a strong interest in public psychiatry with an opportunity to: 
    • Expand knowledge in public psychiatry beyond the level normally expected of a resident physician.
    • Facilitate an understanding of the public psychiatry and behavioral health system in the Philadelphia region.
    • Gain exposure to national trends in public psychiatry.
    • Increase academic achievement and publication in areas related to public psychiatry. Experience public psychiatry in multiple clinical settings.   
    • Increase exposure to public psychiatry earlier in residency in order to facilitate career and fellowship decisions.  

Application and acceptance:

Residents may apply in the second half of their PGY 1 year and the first half of the PGY 2 year.  Acceptance is determined by residency director in conjunction with the track director and the Clinical Competency Committee, and is dependent upon:

  • Achieving milestones appropriate to year of training.
  • Written letter of intent from the resident regarding interest in Public Psychiatry.

Track Structure


Interested residents are encouraged to meet with the track director to discuss their interest in public psychiatry.  Residents are encouraged to discuss the track acceptance criteria with the residency program director at their semi-annual performance evaluation. 


Residents will complete a one-month rotation on an Assertive Community Treatment Team or Community Integrated Recovery Center at either Horizon House or COMHAR mental health centers. This rotation choice will be discussed with the program director and approved by the program director.


Residents will attend the Institute for Psychiatric Services, which is the annual mental health services conference of the American Psychiatric Association.  Attendance at the Institute for Psychiatric Services will be funded by the department of psychiatry.


Track residents must complete at least 6 months of public psychiatry electives. These electives may be longitudinal in design (half day per week in an ongoing fashion) or monthly.  At least 4 of these months must come from the following options:

Community Organization for Mental Health and Rehabiliation (COMHAR)

  1. Adult Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services for Persons Recovering from Mental Illness (Community Integrated Recovery Center)
  2. Blended Targeted Case Management
  3. Adult Residential Supports for Individuals with Mental Illness (Long Term Structured Residence)
  4. Adult Psychiatric Evaluation and Treatment Services (specialized services available for Latino communities, LGBTQI communities, and individuals affected by HIV/AIDS)
  5. Children's Outpatient Evaluation & Treatment

Horizon House

  1. PEACE: Psychosis Education, Assessment, Care, and Empowerment (early intervention for individuals 15 and older with less than 12 months of psychosis symptoms)
  2. Assertive Community Treatment
  3. Wellness Alliance (Community Integrated Recovery Center)
  4. General Adult Outpatient Care

Community Behavioral Health

  1. Experience the operations of a Medicaid managed care system
  2. Elective with Larry Real, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the Philadelphia Department of Bheavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services
  3. Residents will rotate with and shadow Dr. Real in his daily operations, meetings, and work.
  4. Additional, individually-designed, electives are encouraged.