Question About Psychiatry Clinical Year
Hi Dr. Julius,
I initially matched into Psychiatry residency. However, I decided that Psychiatry was not for me and left after an intern year (which included two months of IM wards, one month of outpatient medicine, two months of Neuro, one month of ER, and six months of inpatient Psych) to serve as a GP for four years in the Air Force. I now plan to apply to Radiology. Will I be expected to repeat my intern year?
You posed an interesting dilemma about using psychiatry as a clinical year. If you look at the Radiology ACGME statement, which is as follows:
To be eligible for appointment to the program, residents must have successfully completed a prerequisite year of direct patient care in a program that satisfies the requirements in III.A.2. in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery or surgical specialties, the transitional year, or any combination of these.
This statement does consider psychiatry as an appropriate substitute for an internship year. However, it appears that you did spend a good chunk of the year on clinical care.
So, I would recommend the following: Give the ACGME a call and determine if you could count that year toward the program requirement (especially since you did have substantial non-psych months). On occasion, they do grant exceptions if you could prove that you spent the year performing direct clinical care. It’s worth a try.
If they approve only part of a year, that could be a problem. Why? Because it leaves you with half a year that you still need to complete. It may be hard to find a residency slot to fill up half a year of requirements only. Nevertheless, you never know what they will say. I would be interested to know how it turns out!
Barry Julius, MD