Department of Psychiatry


Courses for Psychiatry Residents

Geriatric Psychiatry

David Bienenfeld, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
Vice Chair


The four-year curriculum in Psychiatry at Wright State University is designed to fulfill appropriate educational goals for each phase of training, making maximum use of the available physical, human, and clinical resources.


The goal of the first year of training is to solidify the identity of the resident as a psychiatric physician. A firm grounding in medicine and neurology is integrated with early exposure to clinical psychiatry. The R-I resident attains familiarity with psychiatric diagnosis and therapeutics, and emerges prepared to continue with specialty training.

The R-I curriculum consists of:
  • Four months of Internal Medicine (inpatient and ambulatory; general and specialty)
  • Two months of Neurology
  • Four months of Psychiatry
  • One month of Substance Abuse
  • One month of Emergency Psychiatry


The second year of training marks the entry into full-time psychiatric education. Goals of the experience are to learn the fundamentals of diagnosis and therapeutics in hospitalized patients and to become familiar with the continuum of care for psychiatric patients.

Clinical rotations of R-II constitute hospital-based services, including:
  • Two inpatient rotations of four months each
  • Two months of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry
  • One month of Partial Hospitalization
  • One month of Child Psychiatry

At the beginning of the second year, residents begin to see patients in individual psychotherapy. Our residents have the unusual opportunity to follow some patients through as much as three years of intensive psychotherapy.


The R-III year is primarily devoted to learning outpatient psychiatry. The goals are to attain skill in various modalities of psychotherapy and outpatient pharmacotherapy, to become competent in the assessment and diagnosis of emotional disorders in children and adolescents, and to achieve proficiency in the care of individuals with severe and persistent mental disorders.

Most of the third year curriculum is devoted to treatment of patients in the outpatient clinics and in the residents' offices. Training is provided in psychodynamic individual psychotherapy, brief and focal therapies, cognitive therapy, marital and family therapy, group psychotherapy, supportive psychotherapy, and psychopharmacologic management of ambulatory patients. Residents receive longitudinal exposure to patients with chronic mental disorders, and a year of experience in outpatient child psychiatry.


By the final year of the general psychiatry program, the resident has become a reliable therapist of many types of patients in varied settings. The goals of this year of training are to assimilate specialty skills and to pursue elective opportunities.

Each R-IV resident may serve three months as a Senior Resident Instructor, leading a clinical care team of junior residents and medical students. A rotation in Forensic Psychiatry and an experience in Administrative Psychiatry are provided to all R-IV residents.

Elective opportunities change from year to year; representative electives include:

  • Advanced consultation-liaison
  • Advanced child psychiatry
  • Community psychiatry
  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Marital and sex therapy
  • Pain management
  • Research
  • Sleep disorders


The community-based structure of the Department of Psychiatry allows residents to draw on the talents of an unusually large faculty. The central department faculty are full-time educators who function as the core of the training program, maintaining the focus of the educational philosophy. Each training site has faculty members with the designated task of teaching residents. Dozens of community psychiatrists eagerly donate their time for supervision of residents' psychotherapy cases, and for elective rotations. The generous didactic schedule and conference series augments the on-site and off-site supervisory hours to provide a high ratio of teaching to clinical work.

The faculty of award-winning teachers possesses a particular degree of expertise in the practice and teaching of psychotherapy. The time honored perspective of depth exploration of the minds and lives of our patients is applied in the context of a medical philosophy suitable for the twenty-first century.

It is a policy of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine that residents and medical students rotate together. The Department of Psychiatry wholeheartedly endorses this policy. Teaching is viewed as an integral part of the psychiatrist's job, and the training of medical students enhances the resident's learning.

Last edited on 03/30/2015.