Residents from the Class of 2017 gather after work to catch up on the week’s events.

PGY4: Mastery & Transition

Post Graduate Year 4 (PGY4), the final year of residency in the MGH/McLean program, encourages an in-depth commitment to the pursuit of individual interests and perfection of clinical skills as preparation for a career in basic or clinical research, medical practice, teaching, administration, or a mix of these activities. Mentors throughout Harvard’s vast academic community are available to aid the resident in his or her specific area of interest. The PGY4 year is largely elective. Residents design their own individualized learning program or curriculum with the help of their training mentors. Additionally, all residents must complete a scholarly project during their PGY4 year.

Components include:

  • 1. Continuity Clinic to continue with their outpatients initially evaluated and treated during PGY2 and PGY3 with three or more weekly hours of supervision (about 10-12 hours per week). In the PGY-4 year, residents have a greater ability to determine their individual caseload, but residents on average continue to see 25-30 patients, including 2-3 therapy cases.
  • 2. Wednesday Afternoon Didactics
  • 3. Clinical, research, and/or chief residency electives for 35 hours per week. This electivity allows residents to use this year to pursue research interests under the mentorship of numerous clinical and/or basic science researchers at both MGH and McLean or at other sites. Residents may use this elective time to pursue other personal clinical interests in more depth. Additionally, there are 13 Chief Resident positions that blend clinical, teaching, administrative, and research training to support the core clinical rotations of PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents. A Chief Residency Leadership Seminar with the Program Director complements this training opportunity.
  • 4. Senior Talk (given at the end of the PGY4 year) based on clinical experiences or research activities during residency.

Call Obligations

The on-call obligation for senior residents is once every 3-4 weeks at MGH. Moonlighting opportunities are available internally at McLean Hospital. Additionally, residents have the ability to start a private practice in the PGY4 year.

PGY4 Timeline

The PGY-4 year has provided me with the opportunity to pursue further training in the treatment of severe personality disorders and to develop expertise in multiple evidence based modalities of treatment for these complex patients including DBT, MBT, GPM and TFP. What has been more exciting has been my experience learning to integrate these treatments in a residential treatment program at the McLean Gunderson Residence; all opportunities that would be hard to find anywhere else in the country. James Jenkins, Class of 2017

I am learning how to incorporate administrative and forensic work into a fulfilling career as a clinical psychiatrist. To that end, my PGY-4 year has allowed me to take on an administrative role as MGH outpatient chief resident while also developing a niche for myself in legal issues relating to mental health and planning a hybrid career path. Eric Liao, Class of 2017