MGH/McLean residents have elective time during PGY2, PGY3 and PGY4 to identify and pursue a substantial academic project.


Research for the General Resident

While clinical training remains at the core of the MGH / McLean residency experience, the program is increasingly committed to fostering career development and academic pursuits throughout residency training. All residents are encouraged to develop an academic project that can come to fruition during residency, either through presentation at a local, regional, or national meeting (e.g., Harvard Psychiatry Research Day, Harvard Education Day, Senior Talks, the APA annual meeting, Society for Biological Psychiatry, ACNP, etc.) and/or publication in a peer-reviewed journal. To facilitate this, the program will assign interested residents a Research Career Mentor. The Research Career Mentor is a member of the MGH/McLean faculty with research interests similar to the residents but is not working with the resident on any academic projects. Instead the Research Career Mentor is intended to be an unbiased expert to help the resident establish a successful research career. During the neurology and psychiatry months of PGY-1, residents are encouraged to take time to meet with possible mentors on both campuses. Opportunities to meet with the training directors to explore interests and find suitable mentors is readily available. Additionally, all PGY-1 residents can use two weeks of their four-week elective time to dedicate to research activity. By the beginning of PGY-3, each resident will have established a research mentor for their academic project that can be accomplished by graduation. Up to 10 hours per week (or one full day) during the eight months of PGY-3 when the resident is not on the Psychosomatic Medicine Consultation (C-L) Service can be used to pursue academic interests. While on the C-L service, each resident creates two academic talks for the weekly Psychosomatic Conference. This includes an extensive literature review of a topic, presentation of the information and the use of a guest discussant to elaborate on the topic. Many residents have used these talks to start a career in academic psychiatry. All residents have a flexible PGY-4 curriculum in which up to 35 hours per week are available for their individual design around interests and experience they want to complete prior to graduation. Many residents carry out academic projects that form the basis for fellowship applications or clinical jobs following residency. Numerous post-residency research fellowships are available to bridge residents to extramural funding (e.g., NIH K award), including the HMS Psychiatry Research fellowships (e.g., Dupont-Warren), Pfizer Neuroscience Fellowship, Picower Institute (MIT) and Stanley Center (Broad) research fellowships, among others. Please see our program page for more information.
Having protected time during residency helped me to be able to do research during training and also have projects in place for when I started fellowship. -Nicole Benson, Class of 2018