MGH/McLean residents often work outside of the hospital setting during the Public and Community Psychiatry rotation.

Public and Community Psychiatry

Program Mission

The MGH Division of Public and Community Psychiatry harnesses the depth and breadth of resources at MGH and in the community to provide excellence in clinical care, teaching research and system improvements for underserved and vulnerable populations with serious mental illness. We work collaboratively with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) and a range of community mental health and medical providers. We seek to understand the complex interplay between serious mental illness and the social determinants of health, and recognize racism as a unique social determinant of mental health. We   focus on those suffering from severe and persistent mental illness, addictions, trauma and homelessness. Our efforts extend beyond community mental health centers, the historic locus of care for the seriously mentally ill, to community health centers embracing integrated approaches to primary and mental health care, to addiction treatment services and to the correctional system. We emphasize recovery-oriented approaches to care including non-hierarchical relationships, shared decision-making and strength-based care, values which are embedded in our clinical rotations and didactic lecture series.


The PGY2 Year: Emphasizing Recovery Models of Care

The PGY2 Community Psychiatry Rotation is a 6-week, immersive, public-sector outpatient experience that introduces residents to recovery-oriented, integrated healthcare for people with serious mental illness. This rotation is sited in a transitional homeless shelter run by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Residents follow patients through multiple systems of care, including a community mental health center, an addictions treatment program, and an organization that provides healthcare for homeless individuals. Residents  work in an interdisciplinary care team to provide care and resources to the most vulnerable of patients.



The PGY3 Year: Psychiatry in Our Communities

The PGY3 Community psychiatry experience spans three discrete ambulatory training experiences: a community mental health center focused on patients with severe mental illness, a longitudinal community-based clinic and the Nashua Street Jail.  All rotations require knowledge of the specific community and effects of the social determinants of health. Residents rotate at longitudinal community clinic sites one half-day per week for 8 months, These sites serve diverse sections of the greater Boston community and allow residents to engage in the unique models of integrated care delivery; this clinical experience complements the resident’s MGH or McLean-based outpatient clinics. Community mental health center sites include the Freedom Trail Clinic and Massachusetts Mental Health Center, where residents spend one day per week for four months. The Nashua Street Jail rotation exposes residents to the structural and social factors that result in the mass incarceration of disenfranchised groups, while focusing on the clinical treatment of detained persons. Residents spend one day per week for four months learning about the role that jails serve in providing mental health care and the unique challenges of being a clinician in a non-clinical setting.




Post Residency Fellowship

A Clinical Fellowship in Public and Community Psychiatry is available for MDs to provide advanced training during a PGY5 year. In partnership with the MGH Division of Public and Community Psychiatry and sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH), this fellowship combines direct evidence-based clinical care with emphasis on longitudinal treatment, mentorship, peer learning, scholarly work and immersive leadership training to prepare the fellow to become leaders in this area. Consistent with the mission of DMH, the fellowship is situated in the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center and its emphasis on rehabilitation and recovery. Click here to view the award announcement.



The fellowship curriculum consists of

  • Three longitudinal clinical rotations at the Erich Lindemann Mental Health Center which houses an outpatient clinic, the MGH Schizophrenia Program and a state shelter
  • A psychiatric consultation experience at a DMH state facility
  • An educational immersion experience in administrative psychiatry
  • Formal didactics in public policy and leadership
  • A scholarly project
The current MGH salary for PGY5 level trainees is about $70,000.     Residents interested in applying for the fellowship should contact Oliver Freudenreich, MD, Director, MGH Fellowship in Public and Community Psychiatry via e-mail.  
The primary mission of the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Public and Community Psychiatry is three-fold: to provide the highest quality psychiatric care to patients with serious mental illness, addictions and poverty, to advocate at patient and system levels, and to inspire residents to build careers that improve the lives of those most in need. Andrew Carlo, Class of 2017
MGH Community Health Centers