The PGY-II residency class is expanded to 7 residents each year through admission of an additional resident who has completed a PGY-I year in primary care medicine or a different psychiatry residency. PGY-II residents attend a full day of didactic seminars weekly, and begin conducting outpatient psychotherapy under supervision.

PGY2 schedule

During the PGY-II year, residents treat children and adolescents at Children's National Health System for up to four months. At Inova Fairfax Hospital, they train for one or two months in addiction psychiatry. A one or two month rotation in Geriatric Psychiatry at Inova Fairfax Hospital involves both geriatric team consultations for hospitalized patients and community nursing home consultations with a geriatric psychiatrist. The Inova Fairfax Partial Hospitalization Program rotation provides one or two months of training in partial hospitalization and acute aftercare treatment of psychiatric patients either recently discharged from the hospital or needing psychiatric care that is more intensive than outpatient but less intensive than inpatient. An inpatient rotation at Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute focuses upon treatment of severely ill psychiatric patients with psychotic, mood, and personality disorders requiring 30 to 90 days of hospitalization.

Residents completing the PGY-II year acquire an extensive knowledge of psychiatric disorders that includes all major DSM-V diagnostic categories for children, adolescents, and adults. They gain competence in pharmacological treatments through an intensive year-long weekly seminar in clinical neurosciences and psychopharmacology. They learn how to conduct family meetings for hospitalized patients that emphasize psychoeducation, relapse prevention, and the countering of stigma against psychiatric illness. They learn skills for supportive group therapy with inpatients. They complete the first level of training in long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy through seminars, weekly supervision, and psychotherapy cases.

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.

PGY-II Curriculum  

Clinical Neurosciences and Psychopharmacology

Patient Assessment, Case Formulation, and Psychodynamic Interviewing Techniques

Intro to Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Introduction to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Medical Ethics

Psychiatry Journal Club

Global Mental Health

Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry 

Forensic Psychiatry

Hope Modules

Affiliated Institutions

Children's National Health System

Children's National logo

Children's National Health System is a leading pediatric training hospital located in the heart of the nation's capital. It is nationally recognized for its high level of training, clinical practice, and research in all areas dealing with infants, toddlers, school-age children, adolescents, and their families. The hospital attracts patients and their families from the District of Columbia and the adjoining states of Virginia and Maryland. These sources provide rich clinical experiences with youth from multiple cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

The Children's National Health System Department of Psychiatry is one of the oldest child psychiatry departments in the nation. All faculty members hold appointments in the GW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The Chair is Dr. Adelaide Robb, a leading figure in psychiatric research and training.  Dr. Robb is committed to developing the research mission of the department and to providing research training opportunities for child psychiatry residents and fellows.

The Children's National Health System child and adolescent psychiatry training program is especially strong in the treatment of severely ill children and youth, family therapy, infant and toddler psychiatry, pediatric consultation-liaison psychiatry, and public sector psychiatry. From its inception, the training program of the Department of Psychiatry has promoted comprehensive clinical service and advocacy for child and adolescent mental health. Faculty members are active in child and adolescent mental health affairs nationally. Many are involved in regional and local mental health committees as well.

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.

Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute

The Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute (NVMHI) is a 127 bed psychiatric hospital administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. As the prototype for Virginia's regional psychiatric facilities, the NVMHI provides a continuum of patient care, including:

  • A 25-bed, limited access, acute treatment unit
  • Two intermediate units, with a total of 58 beds
  • A community re-integration unit of 44 beds
  • An active, on-site rehabilitation program.

The average length of hospitalization is 39 days for acute to subacute patients but can be longer for forensic patients mandated by the courts. Patients who are admitted reflect the multi-ethnic populations of Northern Virginia. Treatment discourages institutional dependence and emphasizes early, gradual resumption of family and community responsibilities with outpatient treatment. The hospital is located on the grounds of Fairfax Hospital, which provides medical and surgical support. The facility is accessible to GW by car and by public transportation via train and bus lines.

The Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute is a key component of inpatient psychiatry training during the PGY-II year, offering training on interdisciplinary teams with intensive treatment of patients diagnosed with psychotic, dissociative, mood, and severe personality disorders. Residents participate in forensic evaluations involving involuntary commitments for hospitalization, including court proceedings.