The Fourth Year

The fourth year of training is predominantly an individually-tailored experience – planned by the resident and faculty – to allow for personal development and specialization. Potentially relevant activities for PGY 4, can include additional clinical rotations in a more senior role, teaching, research, or administrative activities such as serving as a Chief Resident. These experiences will be proposed by the resident and their faculty mentor to the Residency Training Director for approval.

For the fourth year, residents who did the groundwork in PGY 2 may have chosen to begin a child fellowship program. Residents who started our program in PGY 2 use the broad flexibility of the PGY 4 schedule to complete any general psychiatry requirements they did not have exposure to in their internships.

All residents participate in the Long-term Psychotherapy Clinic with a panel of least three patients.

Rural Experiences

Many residents participate in our nationally recognized rural psychiatry program. This one-of-a-kind opportunity, created with special funding from the State of New Mexico, offers the experience to work locally through telecommunications or on-site in rural locations through the assistance of Community Behavioral Health (CBH). Residents have the chance to learn about -- or immerse themselves -- in the varied cultures of New Mexico and gain an understanding about practicing culturally-sensitive psychiatry in rural and frontier areas while supported by an actively involved faculty.


Residents may also pursue a research experience during their fourth year. This is often initiated earlier in their training, but the fourth year affords time for in depth immersion under the mentorship of faculty both at UNM and the New Mexico VA. Past residents have gone on to be highly successful and have worked in areas such as PTSD, addictions, schizophrenia, and geropsychiatry.

Other popular electives during the fourth year include:

  • Sleep medicine
  • Interdisciplinary pain management
  • Neuropsychologic assessment
  • Seniors Clinic
  • MIDD Clinic for the developmentally disabled
  • HIV clinic
  • Treatment Refractory Affective Disorders Clinic
  • Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy
  • Psychosomatics
  • Alcohol and Substance Abuse Programs
  • Forensics experiences
  • Health Care for the Homeless / ACT team 
  • Las Vegas State Hospital Forensics Unit
  • Refugee Clinic

Back to PGY 3