Goals, Objectives & Competencies

The Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program has been designed to offer residents a well- balanced clinical experience, a broad range of exposure to normal and abnormal children and families for diagnostic assessment, treatment and prevention of psychopathology.

The program utilizes clinical experience and a formal curriculum covering major areas in child and adolescent psychiatry, supervision in outpatient, inpatient, acute residential and partial hospital settings and consultation experiences. In the context of a graduated learning experience throughout the two training years, residents will develop growing competence in clinical service, consultation, teaching, research and administration.

What To Expect

Upon completing this program, the resident is expected to be well grounded in normal child and adolescent development and able to differentiate normal from abnormal development. He or she must be:

  • able to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of children, adolescents and families,
  • assess biological, psychological, behavioral and sociocultural dimensions
  • develop an accurate diagnosis, differential diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • familiar with patients from a wide range of different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels
  • familiar with a broad spectrum of psychopathology, including neurologic and other organic disorders, mental retardation, developmental disabilities, learning disorders, the full range of DSM IV TR Axis I and II conditions, psychosomatic disorders, behavioral and adjustment disorders, acute crises, including suicidal and homicidal behavior alcohol and substance use and family disorders.
  • comfortable and knowledgeable working as a part of a multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment team that includes pediatricians and other medical specialists, clinical psychologists, social workers, nurses, speech and language therapists, audiologists, teachers, recreational and occupational therapists and representatives of community and social agencies.
  • competent in the major treatment modalities, including long-term and time-limited individual psychotherapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy, play therapy, supportive therapy, family therapy, pharmacotherapy, crisis intervention, cognitive and behavior therapy, group therapy and combined psychotherapy and psychopharmacology.
  • able to carry out these treatments in a wide range of settings, including
  • -- the outpatient clinics, psychiatric inpatient wards, acute residential treatment units and day treatment programs,
    -- residential schools and treatment centers, community health centers, pediatric inpatient wards and a general hospital emergency department.
  • Finally, the resident must have clinical experience with patients within a continuum of care.

Resident Competencies

goalsUpon completion of the program, residents are expected to be competent in the core areas of patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and improvement, professionalism and systems-based practice. The program takes into account differences in each resident’s prior training, clinical skills and future interests, and is flexible in tailoring the program to individual needs.

The resident, upon completing this program, will be able to:

-- plan, carry out and/or supervise both the long-term and short-term management of children and their families,in a modality suitable for their particular disorder.
-- be competent as a consultant/liaison to other medical and non-medical professionals in pediatric settings, courts, schools and a wide range of social and community health centers and agencies.
-- must understand the principles of and be competent in primary and secondary prevention.
-- must have considerable experience as teachers of professional students (in psychiatry, psychology medical school, social work, nursing, etc.), professional colleagues in other disciplines, parents and members of community and social agencies
-- be familiar with research methodology and be able to evaluate critically past and current child psychiatric literature
-- be competent as clinical administrators of inpatient, acute residential, partial hospital and outpatient evaluation and treatment teams.

The two-year residency in child and adolescent psychiatry is seen as part of a continuum from medical school through internship and general psychiatry training to a career in child and adolescent psychiatry. We expect a high level of clinical competence and a thorough understanding of the principles in all the areas described above.

Each resident will have the same core clinical and educational experience, as well as elective time each year to pursue special areas of interest.


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