Global Psychiatry

Inspired by the life work of our founder, Dr. Chester M. Pierce, we seek quiet excellence and undying commitment in medical service to the international community

african country side Training and Education

The Division works to train those committed to addressing critical clinical, research and public health questions that will improve the delivery of quality mental health and psychiatric care for global communities and diverse patient populations. We believe strongly that we have as much to learn from others as they do from us. We thus work collaboratively with international partners to enhance the skills of our own trainees and those in global communities. We evaluate our programs to identify best practices and recalibrate our approach when necessary.

In-Country Providers

Through collaborative efforts with in-country partners, Division faculty provide culturally-appropriate, clinically-relevant, evidence-based education to professionals and students that enhance psychiatric, mental health and neurological care for global population, and that develop future leaders and mentors. This includes training primary and specialized health workers, current and future providers, and research and clinical staff. Our focus is developing future mentors, trainers and leaders, so our efforts are self-sustaining.

Resident Opportunities

Psychiatry trainees are increasingly aware of issues in global health equity and the resulting global burden of disease growing disproportionately in poorer regions of the world. Our faculty works to attract new psychiatry candidates to the emerging field of global mental health, and position graduates to work effectively across scientific disciplines, and political and cultural boundaries. With strong support from the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program, our faculty provide international opportunities and protected time for these trainees.

Click here to learn more about the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program:

MGH/McLean Chief Residency in International and Community Psychiatry

The Chief Residency in International and Community Psychiatry, established in 2005, is designed to provide an MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry PGY4 resident with hands-on experience, practical training and individualized learning in community and social psychiatry and public mental health policy with a focus on meeting mental health needs in resource-constrained areas. Of the most recent Chief Residents: (a) four have joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School and a fifth is a clinical fellow; (b) one has obtained independent funding in disparities research and recently submitted an National Institute of Health career development award application; and (c) all remain in academic pursuits, either in a continued training mode or as full time clinical and research faculty.

Overseas Elective

MGH/Mclean Adult Psychiatry residents can select an international elective rotation during the PGY-III and PGY-IV years. PGY-III residents can select a one month rotation and PGY-IV residents can select a three month rotation in a clinical setting or have protected time for research or scholarship in global mental health.

Residents participating in the international elective gain broad experience in the delivery of psychiatric services in low- to middle-income countries, and areas affected by disaster or conflict. The goal is to provide the trainee with skills necessary to make informed diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in a cross-cultural, resource-limited practice setting. Trainees are supervised by US psychiatrists (often via web conference) and work and learn alongside in-country clinical mentors, staff and trainees. Residents are expected to lead a case conference or journal club discussion on a topic relevant to his or experience upon return, and to document the experience in a blog or scholarly article. Past residents have worked in Haiti, Liberia, Nepal, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Belize, South Africa, Ethiopia, Liberia, Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Peru and China, among other places.

Research Mentorships

Residents can work with Division faculty on existing data- sets and pilot research projects.

Please contact for more information.

The International Public Mental Health Training Program

The International Public Mental Health Training Program developed a four-year public mental health leadership core curriculum, the North American Public Mental Health Leadership Project (IMPACTO) through a grant from the US Department of Education. The program enabled selected senior residents from the US, Canada and Mexico to learn about mental health policies, legislation, service needs, stigma and advocacy, and cross-cultural factors. This program was in collaboration with Dalhousie University in Halifax and McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada; and Instituto Nacional De Psiquiatria Ramon De La Funete Muniz and Instituto Nacional De Neurologia in Mexico City, Mexico to. It offered elective opportunities for four PGY-IV residents interested in public mental health. Parts of the curriculum have been integrated into the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Program.

Postdoctoral TrainingPost-doctoral Clinical Research Training in Global Mental Health

The rising prominence of mental health as a critical driver of morbidity and mortality demands a breed of scientists who have the methodological skills to work effectively in resource-limited areas, complex emergencies and post-conflict societies. The Division works to develop well-trained investigators dedicated to areas of study that is clinically relevant in these settings. Fellows work on collaborative global projects with institutional and international investigators. Rigorous didactic instruction paired with mentored clinical research experience are essential components to the training. While the nature and spectrum of psychiatric and global health research is incredibly diverse, fellows require a strong foundation in subspecialty training in clinical research, epidemiology, statistics, randomized trials, and clinical services research and, a bona fide background in the bidirectional learning required to translate these opportunities locally and globally. Sufficient independent research support in partner global sites provides the potential for young trainees to progress smoothly from their postdoctoral training to NIH career development awards and junior faculty positions, a key element in any effective training program. Dissimilar along many critical axes, including the socioeconomic profile of patients, urban vs. rural locales, and dominant clinical challenges faced, each international site offers fellows and their mentors a distinctive set of research questions for exploration. Mentors are comprised of active scientists and clinical educators at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and international academic medical institutions. Please contact for more information.


The Stuart T. Hauser Research Training Program in Biological and Social Psychiatry at the Judge Baker Children’s Center provides multi-disciplinary training, including that of outstanding students drawn from a spectrum of sciences relevant to clinical psychiatry research. Student fields range from basic biological brain research, to family studies, to longitudinal developmental studies of psychopathology and resilience. Dr. David Henderson, the Director of the Global Division, is currently a faculty member of this program. For more information, please go to: To reach Dr. Henderson about this opportunity, please contact

Students Medical and graduate student opportunities:

The Division offers summer academic internships in Boston for exceptional medical, doctoral and graduate students. Previous experience in any of the following areas is preferred: data entry, data cleaning, data processing, data analysis, statistics, indicator development, study design and execution, and scientific or journal writing. Students must be detailed oriented and able to meet deadlines.

The Division coordinates international experiences for exceptional medical students at partner sites. Students must arrange their own travel and accommodation. Please contact for more information.


Undergraduate students can apply for a 10-week full-time internship in the Division that combines administrative and academic projects. Candidates must provide two references, a resume and cover letter. Previous global health experience is preferred. Students must be able to meet deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment. Please send requested information to

Visiting Scholars

The Division of Global Psychiatry coordinates observerships for select physicians from foreign countries in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The program is designed to enhance knowledge in general psychiatry and psychiatric subspecialties, and to learn about cutting edge models of psychiatric care and research being practiced in the Department. The program provides a unique opportunity for the Observer to have exposure to state-of-the-art psychiatric practice and training, and to share valuable knowledge and insight with MGH faculty and trainees about evidence-based services and research questions in home countries.

Each observership is tailored to the goals of the Observer. It can consist of clinical observation, research mentorship, a formal didactic curriculum and educational opportunities at Harvard (e.g. lectures, grand rounds). The observer can rotate through specialty clinics, such as the psychiatric inpatient, outpatient, urgent care, depression, schizophrenia, and consult services at MGH and its affiliated community health centers. Visitors can attend hospital- and Harvard-wide Grand Rounds, lectures and events. Each observer will have a faculty mentor assigned to him/her; s/he will meet the faculty weekly.

Program guidelines:

  • Under most circumstances, all observers must cover the cost of the observership (administrative fee, faculty time, travel, living costs);
  • Observers are responsible for arranging all housing and transportation;
  • Observers must apply to the program at least three months before the requested start date;
  • Observers must describe career goals and how the Observership will help meet these goals in 500 words maximum;
  • Observers are prohibited from providing patient care;
  • Observers must hold a degree in medicine and documented training or specialization in psychiatry;
  • Observers must demonstrate proficiency in English language either by phone interview or results of TOEFL exam;
  • Observers must provide a copy of their C.V., medical school diploma, passport and B-1/B-2 visa (where applicable);
  • Observers must provide proof of medical insurance specifying beginning and ending dates of coverage;
  • Observers must successfully pass a criminal background check and comply with MGH Occupational Health standards;
  • Observers must provide at least two letters of reference. One letter must be from the present Chairman or Chief of the participant’s Department;
  • MGH does not award medical education credits for completion of an Observership.

Mahadevan Traveling Observership:

Established by Dr. Tan Sri Mahadevan, a pioneering Malaysian psychiatrist, the Mahadevan Traveling Fellowship offers an early-career Malaysian physician with a mental health interest and/or background a one-month Observership in the Department of Psychiatry at Mass. General Hospital, the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The goal of the Observership is to provide the trainee with knowledge and strategies that s/he can apply to enhance psychiatry training and contemporary practice in Malaysia. In turn, faculty at the MGH learn about evidence-based services and practices in Malaysian settings. The program also enables an MGH resident and junior faculty member to travel to Malaysia for a similar exchange.

Click here to read about Dr. Sharifah Eliza Jamallulail’s experience as the first participant of this program:

Click here to download the pdf of the award from Malaysia.

Shanghai Mental Health Observership

This program provides senior researchers from China research mentorship in the Schizophrenia Clinical Research Program.