The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency offers a two-year program of specialized training in child and adolescent psychiatry for nine residents per year. Residents join staff in providing the best possible comprehensive care for children, adolescents and their families.
Our Teaching Approach
Child and adolescent psychiatry training at Mass General and McLean Hospital is based on the philosophy that no single conceptual framework is sufficient to understand human behavior. Residents are challenged to understand clinical issues in depth and to attempt formulations that integrate conceptual models. To that end, residents are taught to approach patients and their families from a developmental perspective using five clinical orientations:
Our program recognizes that adequate training for the current and future practice of child and adolescent psychiatry is, of necessity, demanding. Beyond attaining essential knowledge, skills and attitudes, residents need to develop a sense of professional identity that includes being a secure physician, an advocate for children, a sensitive therapist and a thoughtful participant or consultant within team structures.
The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency works to produce leaders in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. During this unique, two-year program, residents learn through a variety of methods, including seminars, clinical conferences, individual and group supervision and clinical rounds. The residency curriculum is composed of both core core clinical and educational rotations and electives chosen to foster each resident's individual interests. Most of the training in the program occurs within Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital Clinical Services, but residents also have the opportunity to draw on the programs and resources at a variety of affiliated institutions in Massachusetts. No matter what path a resident chooses, the relationships between residents and faculty remain highly interactive.
Combined Adult-Child & Adolescent Track
The Mass General/McLean Residency also offers two positions each year for a fourth-year medical student to match for a combined program including eight months of pediatrics in the PGY 1 year at Mass General, a two-year general psychiatry residency at Mass General and McLean Hospital (with the option to complete a third year of adult training) and automatic acceptance into the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency.
Learn more about the Combined Adult-Child & Adolescent Program on the McLean Hospital website.
The goal of the Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital curriculum is to give our residents a broad range of theoretical frameworks and practical clinical skills that they can bring to their work with patients. Training methods include formal seminars, clinical conferences, individual and group supervision and rounds on each rotation. With the exception of elective time, all residents have the same core clinical and educational rotations.
The Mass General/McLean program is unique in offering a robust two-year outpatient experience. This allows our residents to develop long-term treatment relationships with a core group of patients, to see the impact of their treatments over time and to watch the process of development unfold.
Residents spend half of their time during the first year in the outpatient clinic seeing patients and meeting with a diverse group of supervisors. Residents have weekly supervision with the training director to guide them in the treatment of their patients from a variety of clinical perspectives. Every first-year resident is assigned the a number of supervisors to work with throughout the year:
- Two individual long-term therapy supervisors
- A family therapy supervisor
- A cognitive behavioral therapy supervisor
- A psychopharmacology supervisor
Year 1 Blocks
Beyond the outpatient continuity clinic, the first year is otherwise divided into two six-month blocks:
- Consultation to Pediatrics: Fellows work closely with attendings on the consult service seeing inpatients on the pediatrics services at MassGeneral Hospital for Children
- Consultation to Community Systems of Care: Residents work with specialized supervisors to consult to a variety of community care systems. These include the Boston Juvenile Courts, a variety of school settings and school-based treatment and prevention programs (including the McLean-based Partnerships in Education and Resilience Program) and to the Acute Psychiatry Service at Mass General
In addition, residents also have two months of partial elective time during this block to pursue specialized interests.
During the second year, residents continue seeing patients in the outpatient clinic. Multidisciplinary supervision in a variety of treatment modalities continues in this year.
Year 2 Blocks
The time outside of outpatient services is divided into three four-month blocks:
- Block 1 - Franciscan Children’s Hospital: Residents rotate on the inpatient psychiatric unit of Franciscan Children’s Hospital, which is affiliated with McLean Hospital and treats children across a broad spectrum of ages and diagnoses. During this rotation residents serve as leaders of a multidisciplinary treatment team
- Block 2 - McLean Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment Program: Residents rotate in the unlocked, residential treatment program. This program's multidisciplinary treatment approach often employs elements of family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy and medication management. The length of stay in this program tends to be longer than in an inpatient unit, allowing for a deeper level of engagement with patients and families
- Block 3 - Electives and Chief Residency: Because a high percentage of our residents continue on to leadership positions in a variety of settings, we believe that some administrative and educational experience during training is important. Residents generally draw on the comprehensive resources of the Mass General and McLean systems for their electives, though arrangements can be made to accommodate experiences in external systems as well. Residents are given wide latitude about how to spend their elective time. Some examples of possible clinical elective experiences include:
- Programs specializing in community psychiatry
- Global psychiatry work
- The interface between technology and psychiatry
- Psychiatry and the media
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Mood and anxiety disorders
- Burns and trauma
- Eating disorders
- Psychodynamic psychotherapy
- Medically ill children and family therapy
- Dialectical behavioral therapy
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Many residents choose to pursue research or education-related projects either during their elective time or throughout their residency.
Learn about training sites for the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency.
Residents spend most of the two training years on the Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital Clinical Services, but residents may also select opportunities for elective experiences at a number of affiliated institutions around Boston and Massachusetts. At all locations, residents and faculty are highly interactive, working with and learning from one another.
Massachusetts General Hospital
The Mass General Department of Psychiatry includes more than 60 specialty clinical and research programs relating to virtually every aspect of psychiatric disorders. Mass General offers an exceptional range of patient services for both inpatients and outpatients, including:
- Emergency psychiatric care
- General and specialty outpatient care for children and adolescents
- Psychological and educational assessment services
- Dedicated inpatient and outpatient psychiatry services for children with both psychiatric and medical illness
- A specialized addictions program for adolescents and young adults
- Clinical and research programs in autism spectrum disorders (Alan and Lorraine Bressler Clinical and Research Program, Lurie Center for Autism)
- A clinical and research program dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders
- Clinical and research programs in pediatric psychopharmacology
- Forensic psychiatry services
McLean Hospital, founded in 1811, is the largest psychiatric teaching facility of Harvard Medical School. McLean Hospital operates the largest psychiatric neuroscience research program of any Harvard University-affiliated facility and of any private psychiatric hospital in the country.
The Child and Adolescent Program at McLean Hospital is one of the foremost clinical programs for helping young people and their families cope with psychiatric illness and the challenges it often brings. It offers a full spectrum of services, including:
- Residential psychiatric and substance abuse programs
- A residential program providing intensive Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) treatment
- A neuropsychological, psychologic, and academic testing program
- A residential eating disorder program
- An intensive outpatient program specializing the treatment of anxiety disorders
- The Child and Adolescent Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Institute, a residential treatment program
- A college mental health program
- A school-based program focused resiliency and prevention in at-risk youth
All of McLean Hospital's treatment programs are designed to emphasize each young person’s strengths and promote recovery through a continuum of care. Rapid, state-of-the-art diagnosis is integrated with thorough psychosocial assessment so that treatment is tailored to each child’s needs.
The Franciscan Hospital for Children is a 100-bed facility providing both acute pediatric services and pediatric rehabilitation. The Franciscan also has a large outpatient rehabilitation service and a special education school for handicapped children and a ventilator unit for children no longer requiring acute care. The hospital has broad expertise in physical rehabilitation, as well as speech and language assessment and therapy, psychological and neuropsychological assessment, dentistry and corrective surgery.
The McLean Unit, the only psychiatric inpatient unit at Franciscan, is a discreet 20-bed unit staffed with psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. The unit has the capacity to treat co-morbid medical conditions and has a specialty track for developmentally disordered youth in psychiatric crisis. It has established an acute residential program for latency age children to provide a continuum of care with the inpatient unit.
This 11-month day school with full approval status by Department of Education serves up to 50 college-bound middle and high school students who have significant psychiatric challenges.
The Boston Juvenile Court Clinic is one of the oldest juvenile court clinics in the country. The clinic provides evaluation and some treatment services for about 900 individuals annually. Court referrals typically involve cases of delinquency, status offense and child abuse matters, with problems related to a high prevalence of exposure to various types of trauma, as well as associated anxiety and mood disorders, substance use problems, disruptive behavior disorders, learning disorders and personality disorders. The clinic has an active research program, largely examining post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and an eight-year longitudinal study of abused and neglected children. Residents have opportunities to visit the courtroom, consult to attorneys, probation officers, judges and social service agency workers and may serve as expert witnesses in cases evaluated.
The Clinic has close ties with the Juvenile Court Consultation Program, a division of the Law and Psychiatry Service of Mass General.
This year-round day school serves up to 32 students ages 6 to 22 who have Asperger’s and related disorders, as well as co-morbid psychiatric conditions. Small classrooms feature a social and language pragmatics approach with a full-time occupational therapist, speech and language therapist and developmental neuropsychologist. The school is designed to meet the specific sensorimotor needs of this population.
The Shriners Hospitals for Children is an international referral center for burn injuries and a major center of research on burn injuries in children and adolescents. There are two inpatient units: a 12-bed acute burn unit and an 18-bed plastic and reconstructive surgical unit. Approximately 7,000 children who have survived burns are followed at the hospital, seen in the clinic and periodically readmitted. Many patients are under 5 and all ages through 19 are represented. All patients have acute or postoperative pain management problems. There are extensive opportunities for child and adolescent psychiatric research: diagnostic, psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological.
Meet our program faculty.
The faculty play a fundamental role in the residency program, as faculty members are responsible for the comprehensive professional development of residents. Most primary faculty members have appointments at Mass General or McLean Hospital. A large number of additional clinicians and researchers are available as teachers from affiliated institutions, Harvard University and institutions throughout metropolitan Boston.
Massachusetts General Hospital
Mass General offers positions for nine residents in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency each year and two positions in the Combined Adult-Child & Adolescent Track through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).
- Psychiatry residents may apply to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency after July of their PGY 3 year for acceptance into the program for their PGY 4 year or after July of their PGY 4 year for acceptance in their PGY 5 year
- All entering residents must have completed an internship and at least two years of general psychiatry residency
Residents entering the forthcoming July must participate in the NRMP Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Specialty Match.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis beginning in the spring.
- The preferred deadline for receipt of completed applicant files is September 30th
- Interviews are conducted from September through November
- Formal offers for the following July are determined by the NRMP
Each applicant must submit the following materials through the Electronic Residency Application Service® (ERAS).
- Brief autobiographical statement and summary of career goals
- Curriculum vitae (CV)
- Verification of training form, completed and signed by training director, indicating completion of training requirements in general psychiatry
- Original medical school transcript
- Letter of recommendation from medical school dean
- Letter should state the hospital and specialty of internship
- If separate from residency, please also include a letter of recommendation from the training director documenting at least four months of primary care medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics and two months (full-time equivalent) of neurology
- Letter of recommendation from the training director of the adult psychiatry program, including an overall evaluation of performance (applicants must have completed two years of adult training to apply for child and adolescent training)
- Two additional letters of recommendation, particularly from people who are familiar with your personal, clinical and academic qualifications
Note: If you already have a full Massachusetts medical license, a MA narcotics license, or a DEA certificate, please attach copies of your most recent application and wallet-size license.
A note on letters of recommendation:
- All letters should be originals
- All letters and application materials should be addressed to: David Rubin, MD, Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Training Program
We make every effort to review each and every completed applicant file. After an initial screening of your application, qualified applicants will be invited for interviews with faculty members at Mass General and McLean Hospital. These interviews are usually held on Thursdays or Fridays starting in September.
Applicants will meet with the training director and a least three members of the Selection Committee. We encourage you to express any potential areas of clinical or academic interest so some interviews may be tailored to your interest.
Combined Adult-Child & Adolescent Track
The Mass General/McLean Residency has two positions in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) for a fourth-year medical student to match for a combined program in pediatric psychiatry and general psychiatry (with the option to complete a third year of adult training).
Applications for this position should be addressed to: Felicia Smith, MD, Director of the Mass General/McLean Hospital General Residency Training Program.
Learn more and find application procedures for the Combined Adult-Child & Adolescent Program on the McLean Hospital website.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency
Massachusetts General Hospital
15 Parkman Street, WAC 812
Boston, MA 02114