PGY-I Year

The primary objective for the PGY-I year is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and professionalism necessary to practice as a physician. This is a year in which a resident's professional identity shifts from student to physician, and navigating this transition successfully is the primary concern. The PGY-I year curriculum provides a foundation of knowledge and skills in internal medicine and neurology, as well as a basic introduction to psychiatry.

PGY1 schedule

Six residents enter the program each year as PGY-I residents. They train in internal medicine (three months), emergency medicine (one month), neurology (two months), inpatient psychiatry at Inova Fairfax Hospital (four months) and inpatient/emergency psychiatry at GW Hospital (two months). During the six months of PGY-I psychiatric training, residents learn to diagnose and treat the major psychiatric disorders. They gain competence in managing crises and treating acute episodes of illnesses with a range of psychotropic medications. They learn how to intervene in psychiatric emergencies, such as threats of suicide or assault upon others or refusals to accept needed medical treatment. PGY-I residents are introduced to the concepts and principles of clinical psychiatry in weekly didactic seminars and clinical conferences during their inpatient psychiatry rotations at Inova-Fairfax Hospital and George Washington University Hospital, in addition to clinical supervision at bedside.

Inova Fairfax Hospital, located in Falls Church, VA, is a 950-bed regional medical center whose Department of Psychiatry is nationally renowned for its leadership in consultation-liaison psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. The 30-bed psychiatry inpatient service provides acute psychiatric patient treatment for a patient population with high medical co-morbidity that reflects the enormous ethnic diversity of Fairfax County and Northern Virginia. PGY-I residents train for four months in the Inova Fairfax inpatient psychiatric services.

The GW Inpatient Psychiatry Unit is a 20-bed acute treatment unit in the 380-bed GW Hospital, Washington's newest and most technologically-advanced hospital. The illness acuity, high medical co-morbidity, and dual diagnoses that characterize its patients reflect its downtown Washington setting. A two month PGY-I rotation integrates training in Emergency and Acute Inpatient Psychiatry in the 6-South Inpatient Psychiatry Unit.

Seminars and Clinical Conferences

A didactic curriculum of seminars and clinical conferences parallels residents' clinical work. Teaching occurs in small groups where intimate dialogues are possible. Seminar leaders are drawn both from our full-time academic and voluntary clinical faculties, many of whom have distinguished national reputations. In general, seminar leaders employ multiple teaching modalities— lectures, live interviews of patients and families, videotaped interviews, and case reviews. Depending on resident feedback and changing trends in psychiatric education, modifications are made each year.

(All weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly PGY-I seminars at Inova-Fairfax Hospital are taught in a repeating cycle during each four-month Inpatient Psychiatry rotation)

PGY-I Curriculum  

The Perspectives of Psychiatry

Intro to Psychodynamic Principles

Hospitalist Conference


Psychiatry Clinical Case Conference


Evidence-Based Psychiatry


Journal Club




Individual Case Supervision


Affiliated Institutions

INOVA Fairfax Hospital


Inova Logo

Inova Fairfax Hospital, located in Falls Church, VA, is a 950-bed regional medical center with a nationally renowned medical staff, highly skilled nurses, and a full range of medical, surgical, and support services. The hospital includes Northern Virginia's only Level 1 trauma center. Inova Fairfax Hospital is one of only six community hospitals in the nation offering the full spectrum of organ transplantation. The Inova Heart and Vascular Institute houses 156 beds as the region's only facility dedicated exclusively to heart and vascular care. The 153-bed Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children is the only children's hospital serving critically ill children in Northern Virginia. The obstetrics program is the fifth busiest in the nation.

The Department of Psychiatry at Inova Fairfax Hospital is nationally renowned for its leadership in consultation-liaison psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine. GWU psychiatry residents complete rotations during their PGY-I and PGY-II years on the 30-bed INOVA Fairfax psychiatric inpatient unit, Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Services (CATS), day treatment, and consultation-liaison services.