Required and Elective Experiences during the 4th Year: An Analysis of ACGME Accredited Psychiatry Residency Program Websites

Heather S. Vestal, Richard Belitsky, Carol A. Bernstein, Deanna Chaukos, Mitchell B. Cohen, Leah J. Dickstein, Donald M. Hilty, Lucy Hutner, Ferda Sakman, Stephen C. Scheiber, Marika I. Wrzosek, Edward K. Silberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to assess and describe required and elective components of the 4th post-graduate year (PGY4) in psychiatry residency programs. Methods: We reviewed the websites of all 193 2014-2015 ACGME accredited psychiatry residency programs for content describing the specific components of the PGY4 year. Results: Nearly all residency programs (99 %) had some form of required experiences during the PGY4 year. Ninety-four percent had clinical requirements for PGY4 residents, with longitudinal outpatient clinic being the most common (77 %). All programs offered some elective time during PGY4, but the amount of time ranged from 2 months to 100 %. Conclusion: Virtually all residency programs include some requirements in the 4th year (most commonly didactics and outpatient clinic) in addition to a broad array of elective experiences. Although 3 years may suffice for residents to complete ACGME requirements, a variety of factors may motivate programs to include required 4th year curricula. Future studies should explore the rationales for and possible benefits of programmatic requirements throughout 4 versus only 3 years of psychiatric training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-820
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Curriculum
  • Electives
  • Medical education
  • Psychiatry
  • Requirements
  • Residency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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