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? 
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 with psychotherapeutic techniques and principles.  Residents' clinical experiences, rotations and didactics comprehensively address both psychopharmacology and psychotherapy. Each residents gets hands on training for psychotherapy under the close supervision of a proficient psychotherapist.

What is the balance between service needs and education?
Resident education is highly valued by our Department and the University as a whole since we believe that educations is as important as clinical training. All first year residents have one morning per week of protected didactic time during psychiatric rotations from 9 AM to 1PM.  PGY II-IVs have full protected didactic day on every Tuesday where morning is dedicated to outpatient psychotherapy clinic with education sessions in the afternoon. 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 clinical training in our field at the same time serving a patient base that is in a great 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 who are 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 peer reviewed 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.
Most of our residents get into excellent fellowship programs of their choice
See below for examples of recent fellowship matches by NJMS graduates:
Forensic Psychiatry- The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, University of Miami Medical Center
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry- Columbia University Medical Center, University of Miami Medical center, North shore LIJ hospital, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
Psychosomatic Medicine- Mount Sinai Hospital, North shore LIJ hospital
Addiction Psychiatry- Yale University Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania, Montefiore Medical Center 
Geriatric Psychiatry- University of Pennsylvania, Mount Sinai Hospital 

What is call like?
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 become comfortable taking call on their own.  Fourth years do not have any call except for  "supervisory calls"..

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. Residents feedbacks and suggestions have catalyzed some of the most important positive changes in the program. 

Are residents happy?  Do they do things as a group?
Our program is like a family for all the residents where they report being happy. In addition to that, residents also do get together to socialize outside of work hours.  Since Jan 2017, we incorporated "Wellness" component into the resident didactic curriculum to help residents learn about burnout, and the importance of self-care as a physician and a 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. In addition to close proximity of New York City, northern NJ has much to offer to those who love outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding and nearby beaches.

What are the strengths of the program?
Residents at NJMS receive an 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. Additionally, residents get an excellent training in addiction (also Buprenorphine training).

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)?

Does your program participate through ERAS?
Yes, applications are only accepted through ERAS. We participate in NRMP match.

How many IMGs are there on your program?
The number of IMGs in our program varies from year to year. We are very receptive of applicants from different cultural, medical and geographical backgrounds as we 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. However, there is no absolute cut off.

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

Would having passed USMLE Step 3 benefit me in any way?
Yes, passing STEP 3 is required to transition from PGY-2 to PGY-3, 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 through ECFMG