FAQ  about our Residency Program

Is the residency program accredited by ACGME?
Yes, our program has been fully accredited since 1969.

Is Rutgers- NJMS Department of Psychiatry “biologically” oriented or is there a heavy focus on psychotherapy?  Somewhere in the middle?
We, at Rutgers-NJMS Department of Psychiatry believe that in order to become a competent psychiatrist, residents should have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the both psychopharmacology and the biological underpinnings of mental illness, and psychotherapeutic techniques and principles.  Residents' clinical experiences, rotations and didactics comprehensively address both psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. 

What is the balance between service needs and education?
Resident education is highly valued by the Department and the University as a whole.  First year residents have one morning per week of protected didactic time during psychiatric rotations from 8am to 1pm.  Additionally, first year residents on medicine/pediatrics/neurology rotations meet with their classmates to reconnect from 11am-1pm on Fridays.  PGY 2-4 residents have two mornings per week of protected didactic time on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Newark is a clinically exciting place to work due to the diversity and severity of illness found in this underserved population. This enables our residents to gain a unique education in psychiatry while serving a patient base that is greatly in need of mental health care.

Is there an opportunity for residents to get involved with research? What level of research involvement is expected by the program?
Rutgers NJMS provides residents with excellent opportunities to get involved in research projects and provides exceptional faculty mentorship for residents interested in presenting at conferences and building their CV for potential future careers in academic psychiatry.  Our residents routinely present posters at national conferences every year. In addition, they have also presented at workshops, and published articles and book chapters.

Do residents stay at Rutgers NJMS and eventually join the faculty? What else do graduating residents do?
Yes, a significant portion of our faculty members are former NJMS residents.
See below for examples of recent fellowship matches by NJMS graduates:
Forensic Psychiatry-University of Miami
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Psychosomatic Medicine-Mount Sinai Hospital
Addiction Psychiatry-University of Pennsylvania
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Geriatric Psychiatry-Mount Sinai Hospital
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-Penn State Hershey Medical Center
Psychosomatic Medicine-Long Island Jewish Medical Center
Addiction Psychiatry-Montefiore Medical Center
Psychosomatic Medicine-New York University
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry-Rutgers New Jersey Medical School 

What is call like?
While on call, residents mainly cover the psychiatric emergency room, and attend to emergent issues on the inpatient floor and the consult service.  Interns start their first calls with a senior "buddy" until they are comfortable taking call on their own.  Fourth years do not have any call except for these "buddy calls" which occur during daytime shifts.

How accessible is the Program Director to residents?  What about the Department Chair?
At NJMS, the faculty is extremely invested in taking time to get to know residents and discuss their education and concerns.  Our Program Director is very accessible to residents, as is the Department Chair.  If you are invited for an interview, you will meet them both on the interview day.

Are resident concerns and opinions taken seriously by administration?
Resident concerns are taken very seriously by administration, and resident feedback and suggestions have catalyzed some of the most important positive changes in the program. 

Are residents happy?  Do they do things as a group?
Residents report being happy at NJMS and do get together to socialize outside of work hours.  The program is initiating a "Wellness" component to the didactic curriculum in Jan 2017 to help residents learn about burnout, and the importance of self-care as a physician and psychiatrist.

What is New Jersey like? Where do residents live?
Northern New Jersey is a wonderful place to live for residents in all stages of life.  For residents with families, the towns surrounding Newark are extremely safe and affordable with good public schools as most are suburbs of NYC.  Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ are more urban areas with good access to culture and nightlife, and are just a short subway ride to Manhattan.  It is also possible to live in Manhattan and commute to our program.  Additionally, northern NJ has much to offer to those who love the outdoors, including hiking, skiing and nearby beaches.

What are the strengths of the program?
Residents at NJMS receive excellent teaching during their clinical rotations and didactic courses.  There is a high level of mentorship for residents interested in developing their academic career, and most residents graduate with a very strong CV reflecting their clinical, academic and educational accomplishments.  As mentioned above, due to the nature of our patient population our residents are exposed to rare cases and severe psychopathology such that they are extremely confident and competent psychiatrists upon graduating from our program.

What is your cut off score in USMLE Steps 1&2 for accepting applications?
There is no official score cut off, as test scores are just one part of the overall application which is evaluated by the program.

Do you require US clinical experience (research, externship or observership)?
No.

Does your program participate through ERAS?
Yes, applications are only accepted through ERAS.

How many IMGs are there on your program?
The number of IMGs in our program varies from year to year. We are very accepting of applicants from different cultural, medical and geographical backgrounds and find diversity to be one of our greatest assets! We welcome applications from MD and DO American graduates as well as international medical graduates. 

Do you consider year of graduation in accepting applications?
We consider length of time since last clinical work or medical school graduation as one component of a complete application.  There is no absolute cut off.

How many letters of recommendation do you require with each application?
Three

Would having passed USMLE Step 3 benefit me in any way?
Yes, passing STEP 3 is required to transition from PGY2 to PGY3, therefore having passed the exam already would be an advantage; however, it is not required.

Do you sponsor visas for IMG's?
We sponsor J1 visas.