Michael J. Vergare, MD
Professor & Chair,
Department of Psychiatry
& Human Behavior
Objectives & Principles
As a major academic medical center in the heart of Philadelphia and home to one of the nation’s top-ranked medical schools, Jefferson provides clinical training in psychiatry that is fully integrated with the rest of medicine. Our four-year residency is a well-established clinical and academic program that provides highly individualized training for physicians who intend to specialize in psychiatry and work with patients. Each year, our program accepts seven residents. Each resident is a member of a seminar-size class, so interactive learning and individual instruction and mentoring are provided. We help each resident explore and clarify career interests through individual supervision of treatment with a spectrum of supervisors and significant weekly hours of supervision scheduled, by exposure to the wide subspecialty areas in our field, and by longitudinal mentoring over the training years.
Jefferson residents graduate from our program with significant and diverse range of clinical experience drawn from rotations on Jefferson’s campus and at other area hospitals and community health, counseling, addiction, and crisis centers. Our rotations serve to underscore our residents’ identities as physicians as their education in psychiatry progresses.
Beginning PGY-3, residents learn and provide private office-based psychotherapy to high-functioning individual patients and families in a faculty-supervised setting. The demographics of the patients evaluated and treated by our residents represent a full spectrum of Philadelphia’s population -- closely resembling the patient mix found in a private outpatient ambulatory practice. Our residents are assigned relatively small caseloads to provide them with optimum learning experiences through the continuity of patient care during their third and fourth years of training.
Jefferson provides training in a full breadth of subspecialties including addiction, adult crisis, family and couples therapy, sex therapy, forensics, geriatrics, in-patient adult, pain management, psychosomatic medicine and sleep medicine. In addition, we offer well-developed programs in cognitive behavior therapy, group therapy, and prospective bariatric surgery patient assessment. Jefferson’s rich history in psychiatric training was documented over a century before its 20th Century identity as the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Jefferson, however, is our collegial learning atmosphere. Here, formal training, informal mentoring, regular discussion groups on medical career development, and lively social activities provide residents with an environment rich in learning, professional guidance and enjoyable camaraderie. As our residents master the specialty knowledge base and hone their clinical skills, they also learn the value of professional relationships in sharing the satisfactions, doubts, and stress of clinical work with trusted colleagues. Our Departmental Spirit of Collaboration and the Professional Development Group series develop this meaningful aspect of practice.
We appreciate your interest in Jefferson’s Psychiatry and Human Behavior Residency Program. We invite you to explore this website and learn more about the professional opportunities we offer.
Michael J. Vergare, MD
Mitchell J. Cohen, MD
Vice Chair for Psychiatric Education
Kenneth Certa, MD
Director, Residency Program
833 Chestnut Street East, Suite 210
Philadelphia, PA 19107
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