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Psychiatry Residency Program

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Message from Program Director

How do you train a psychiatrist?

Should a residency program be focused on producing can-do clinicians, whose training and experience prepares them to work with unpredictable patients and ever-changing diagnostic assessments? Or does the ideal residency produce young scientists, who contribute to the academic community through meeting attendance and literature, and incorporate current scientific research into daily practice?

If we place clinical practice as our paramount goal, then do we mean psychopharmacology, cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy, group psychotherapy - or any of the hundred permutations of these techniques? If, on the other hand, we place science first, then what kind of science: genomics, biomolecular neuroscience, fMRI imaging of neural networks, bundled and unbundled comparisons of DBT against alternative manualized psychotherapies, longitudinal studies of defense mechanisms?

Yet, perhaps there's something beyond science and clinical practice that is the defining factor in the training of a psychiatrist: a tradition of disciplined humanistic thought and practice that begins with Charcot and extends through the greats of the 19th and early 20th centuries: Freud, Kreapelin, Bleuler, Jaspers, to name a few giants of independent thought who defined the problems we still engage today. Surely any training program that does not place its graduates in this procession is incomplete?

And yet, isn't there something more to the making of a psychiatrist than clinical, scientific and intellectual development? Isn't it the case that psychiatrists - unique among physicians - face a special challenge to both understand mental illness, to establish intimate relationships with their patients, and to simultaneously maintain a professional and intellectual position of independence from them? Isn't it the case that almost every psychiatrist must - to one extent or another - inevitably confront themselves, and develop personally and morally, if they are to find their way in what some have called "the impossible profession?"

The answer to each of these questions, as surely you surmise, is "yes." Modern psychiatric training is deficient if it does not include awareness of all of these domains of knowledge, and likely many others I've failed to mention.

The problem of integrating diverse data and theoretical concepts, represents one more aspect of the challenge psychiatrists face on a daily basis - and one of the reasons psychiatry remains the most fascinating branch of medicine.

The goal of our training program is to begin a process of lifelong learning. In addition to our four-year adult psychiatric residency training program, we also have fellowships in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine. Our yearlong Outpatient Department (OPD) rotation includes training in a broad range of psychotherapies. Psychoanalytic courses taken by residents trained in either adult or child may be integrated into a separate advanced psychoanalytic training program or a selective during the PGY4 year. We are building our curriculum in biological psychiatry and psychopharmacology, and building a department-wide commitment to education and research.

Under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Ferrando, our Chairman, we are committed to the mentorship of our residents as leaders, scholars and clinicians. We welcome your interest in our program, and hope that you will consider building the next stage of your career with us.  

Sincerely,

 

Alexander Lerman, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Vice Chairman for Education and Residency Training Director
New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Behavioral Health Center 3rd floor
Valhalla, New York 10595

  

View Virtual Tour of the Behavioral Health Center


Clinical Services and Rotations

ADULT INPATIENT PSYCHIATRY

While on this service, the resident functions as an integral member of the treatment team. Clinical responsibilities include psychiatric intake, evaluation, management and disposition planning of specifically assigned patients under the close supervision of an attending psychiatrist and psychiatry residents. The resident gains skills in psychiatric examination and evaluation, interviewing techniques, psychopharmacology and is offered some beginning experience in psychotherapeutic techniques.

During the inpatient rotation, PGY-1 residents will also receive weekly off-unit supervision from the Program Director and/or members of the voluntary faculty.

We take training residents as educators very seriously. PGY-1 residents supervise and instruct medical students, and receive guidance and support from senior resident staff. We work to provide useful assessment and feedback to guide residents’ professional development, and to create a learning environment that is constructive, exciting, and physically and emotionally safe.

Most inpatient rotations occur at Westchester Medical Center. We are planning to expand our residency training at MidHudson Regional Hospital.

There are many learning opportunities for residents including lectures and weekly Grand Rounds (September - May). In addition, residents have opportunities to be involved with teaching, including supervising third year medical students, giving lectures, and participating in the education for psychiatry residents and medical students.

PSYCHIATRIC EMERGENCY ROOM

The resident will participate in the initial evaluation at the emergency room and be a part of the decision of psychiatric admission, including mental status examination, physical examination and review of laboratory data. Residents will learn about legal documents pertaining to voluntary vs. involuntary admission and will also learn how to place the initial orders when a patient is admitted to the floor. This includes psychopharmacology and the level of monitoring (constant observation vs. Q15 minute checks). Residents will also learn about detoxification protocols in the treatment of substance withdrawal.

The resident will also become familiar with clinical steps that are necessary when patients are not admitted and are referred back to the community; this involves, besides the psychiatric evaluation of the patient, contact with the families and friends to gather collateral information and make proper referral for the outpatient follow-up.

ADULT PSYCHIATRIC OUTPATIENT SERVICE

Behavioral Health Center at Westchester Medical Center

Our outpatient service offers a full range of psychiatric treatment options. The adult Outpatient Department (OPD) averages about 11,000-12,000 visits per year, and is staffed by social workers, psychologists, mental health workers, a nurse practitioner, psychiatry attendings, residents and other trainees. Residents may spend three to four hours per week evaluating new patients. Once they have seen the patient, they present the case to a supervisor who then joins the resident in seeing the patient. Interviewing technique, differential diagnosis and treatment planning are discussed. Residents treat adult patients in individual, group and family modalities. Treatment approaches utilized include: supportive psychotherapy, crisis intervention, brief and long-term psychodynamic therapies, combined psychotherapy and medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, group and family therapy, and psychopharmacological treatment. Each resident sees individual patients, co-leads one or two weekly groups, and does one or two weekly intake evaluations. Residents participate in a weekly meeting of all OPD staff to discuss patient evaluations and treatment planning.

The OPD has a broad ethnic mix, reflecting the surrounding community. The predominant patient populations are middle-class, working class, and poor socio-economic groups. Patients have the full-spectrum of psychiatric diagnoses, including adjustment disorders, major depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and some cases of dementia. The OPD also treats patients with severe and chronic mental illness, including patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Many of the patients have comorbid medical problems including hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and HIV. There are specific programs that residents participate in for specific patient populations, ITOP for fragile, chronically mentally ill patients, Gateway for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients, and Step-Up for patients with severe personality disorders. Residents have the option of seeing an adolescent patient, and there are a significant number of geriatric patients as well.

ADDICTION PSYCHIATRY

As of July 2016, 8 out of 9 – 10 residents in the PGY-II year rotate in addiction psychiatry at the Montrose VA Hospital, while the remaining 1 – 2 residents per year rotate at our sister campus at the MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY. Residents at both sites engage the complex psychological, psychosocial, and biologic forces behind the pathology and treatment of addiction.

CONSULTATION/LIAISON PSYCHIATRY

The resident is responsible for responding to psychiatric consultations from medical, surgical, critical care, and other services. Duties include psychiatric examination and evaluation of patients, consultation with staff of various medical services and attendance at conferences and rounds. Residents will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a board certified consultation/liaison psychiatrist.

Residents will have the opportunity to observe psychiatric manifestations of illness in an acute medical setting. Residents will gain knowledge of basic principles of psychosomatic medicine and learn to integrate psychiatric and medical care. Residents will be exposed to a wide variety of cases and will gain clinical reasoning skills in assessing and treating psychiatric components of medical illnesses.

CHILD PSYCHIATRY

The Adult Residency training program benefits from our unusual strengths in Child Psychiatry, including training on a dedicated child psychiatry inpatient unit, adolescent inpatient unit, Child and Adolescent OPD, and a dynamic Child Consultation/Liaison program at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.

The resident functions as an integral member of a treatment team responsible for specifically assigned children under the close supervision of an attending psychiatrist on a number of child psychiatric services including in- and outpatient facilities. Clinical responsibilities include psychiatric intake and evaluation of children, family studies, medical management, disposition planning and consultation. In order to effectively work with children and their families, the resident will develop an ability to work in teams with other professional staff including teachers, social workers, nurses, psychologists and recreational therapists. The resident gains skills in psychiatric examination and evaluation, interviewing techniques, psychopharmacology and is offered some beginning experience in psychotherapeutic techniques specific to child and adolescent psychiatry.

Residents will experience firsthand the daily role of inpatient and outpatient child psychiatrists. Through patient interactions, residents will have exposure to a wide variety of psychiatric illnesses. Residents will have the opportunity to observe the longitudinal course of chronic psychiatric illnesses and participate in patient treatment from acute management to long term care.

During the elective, residents will have the opportunity to interact with the Director of Child Psychiatry. There are many learning opportunities for students including lectures and weekly Grand Rounds (September-May). Residents have the opportunity to be involved in teaching as well.

GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY

As of July 2016, 8 out of 9 – 10 residents in the PGY-II year rotate in geriatric psychiatry at the Montrose VA Hospital, while the remaining 1 – 2 residents per year rotate at the med-psych geriatrics service at Westchester Medical Center. Residents at both sites engage the complex biological aspects of psychiatric illness and aging.

SCHOLARLY PROJECT REQUIREMENT

A scholarly project is required of all residents. The resident may begin a project during the PGY-II year and must complete this requirement in order to graduate from our program. The scholarly product may be an original clinical research report, a case report, a comprehensive literature review, or a research project. Under the supervision of an attending psychiatrist or research psychologist, residents can participate in either clinical or basic science research in the department, medical school, or pursue their own original research. A research psychologist is available to match residents with projects and assist in data analysis. The scholarly project must be written up, and be of sufficient quality to be either submitted for publication or presented. If not submitted for publication, the project must be presented in Grand Rounds or another appropriate format. All residents present their projects at a Resident Research Forum in June.

Clinical Rotations

There is flexibility about the sequence in which the rotations are taken in the second through fourth years. The rotations are adjusted for those doing a child fellowship after the third year. Each block consists of four weeks; there are 13 blocks each year.

PGY-1

  • Medicine or Medicine/Pediatrics: 4 blocks (WMC)
  • Inpatient Psychiatry: 8 blocks (WMC)
  • Night Float: 1 block (WMC)

PGY-2

  • Inpatient Psychiatry: 2 – 3 blocks (WMC)
  • Emergency Psychiatry: 2 blocks (WMC)
  • Neurology: 2 blocks (WMC)
  • Substance Abuse: 1 ½ blocks (VA or MHRH)
  • Geriatric Psychiatry: 1 ½ block (VA or MHRH)
  • Consultation/Liaison: 2 – 4 blocks (WMC)
  • Child Psychiatry: 1 – 2 blocks (WMC)

PGY-3

  • Outpatient Department: 13 blocks
  • 2 – 6 outpatient psychotherapy patients

PGY-4

  • Senior electives and scholarly project: 6 – 8 blocks
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: 2 blocks
  • Junior administrative attending: 2 – 3 blocks
  • OPD Continuous Cases optional
  • Requirements not met in previous years
  • Interviewing and Psychotherapy Training

At the WMC/BHC program we view the ability to listen to and understand a patient as a core aspect of psychiatry, which underlies all other activities, theoretical frames of reference, or therapeutic modalities a psychiatrist may engage or employ.

Our clinical training emphasizes interviewing and case formulation, including challenging, video-recorded simulated patient interviews. Our outpatient year offers extensive training in both Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Two members of our faculty are faculty members of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Research and Training, and many of our voluntary faculty have distinguished credentials in various treatment modalities.

Third year residents particularly interested in psychodynamic psychiatry have the option of rotating in our Personality Disorders / Development clinical track, as well as participation in the general curriculum. Third and Fourth year residents also have the option of enrolling at the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic Institute.

All residents attend case conferences and didactics focused on treatment of personality disorders, as well as training in Family and Marital Therapy, and Group Psychotherapy.

Simulated Patient Interviews

We have launched an ambitious Simulated Patient Interview Program. Video recordings of the encounters are utilized to build and assess resident skills in challenging clinical scenarios, and as tools in the classroom and clinical workshops.

Care to challenge your clinical skills further? Email WMC Program Director and place the word “SIMULATE!” in the subject line to receive a self-assessment guide based on the interview.

Curriculum and Didactic Education

The psychiatric residency offers a full day of protected academic time, and reflects our commitment to education. (For junior residents assigned to an BHC inpatient rotation, didactics may be spread out through the week, and classes are not scheduled for about six weeks of the academic year). The first-time ABPN passage rate from 2015 to the present is 95%, and our program has launched many residents into prestigious careers around the country.

As you will see from the curriculum below, we augment our in-house teaching staff with voluntary faculty from around the metropolitan area for coursework in subjects ranging from child sexual abuse to cross-cultural practice in the ultraorthodox Jewish community.

We’re always looking for original and inspiring ways to teach: from building models of the brain out of playdough, to rigorous curricula from the American College of Psychopharmacology, to studying the life and writings of Adolph Hitler. Many of our most original ideas come from residents: training residents as teachers is a core part of our educational mission, and many outstanding aspects of our educational program include the work of students-turned scholars in our program.

Research and Scholarship

APA annual conference , SFO, CA, 2019

Under the leadership of our Chairman, Dr. Stephen J. Ferrando, our training program has a dynamic and growing program to foster what we anticipate to be a lifetime commitment to clinical research and scholarship among our trainees. Our initiative includes a regularly scheduled Research Colloquium which serves as an open forum for academic projects in every stage of development, a “Disorder of the Quarter” clinical study and practice review project, and 1:1 faculty support for groups and individual residents engaged in scholarly pursuit.

Psychoanalytic Institute of the Department of Psychiatry

The Psychoanalytic Institute of the Department of Psychiatry at New York Medical College offers comprehensive instruction in psychodynamic psychotherapy. The faculty of the New York Medical College Psychoanalytic Institute provides senior teachers and supervisors to the psychiatric residency training program. Residents can take a two-year course starting in their third year of residency, which leads to Certification in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Credit for the first year of training in the Psychoanalytic Institute can be given to residents who complete this course. In addition, an elective in psychodynamic psychotherapy is offered to residents as part of the curriculum.

Research and Scholarly Activity 2019-2020

The influence of New York’s SAFE Act on individuals seeking mental health treatment. Psychiatric Quarterly. August 2020. doi.org/10.1007/s11126-020-09816-4
Charder C, Liberatos P, Trobiano M, Dornbush R, Way B, Lerman A.

Comorbidity in Schizophrenia: Conceptual Issues and Clinical Management. Focus, 2020.
Abdullah HM, Hameed A, Hwang M, Ferrando S.

Treating Opioid Use Disorder during COVID-19: A Novel MAT Consultation Service for Inpatient Psychiatric Units
Stephen J. Ferrando, MD; Eldene Towey, MD; Lidia Klepacz, MD; Sean Lynch, BA

COVID-19 Psychosis: A potential new neuropsychiatric condition triggered by novel coronavirus infection and the inflammatory response?
Stephen J. Ferrando, M.D.; Lidia Klepacz, M.D.; Sean Lynch, B.A.; Mohammad Tavakkoli, M.D.; Rhea Dornbush, Ph.D.; Reena Baharani, M.D.; Yvette Smolin, M.D.; Abraham Bartell, M.D.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Opioid-Related Overdoses: A Review of the Literature
Faris Katkhuda, BA; Sean Lynch, BA; Lidia Klepacz, MD

COVID-19 and Clozapine – A Case of Recurrent Infection
Brandon Jacobi, DO; Sean Lynch, BA; Sivan Shahar, BA; Lidia Klepacz, MD; Stephen J. Ferrando, MD

Psychiatric emergencies during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Suburban New York City Area
Stephen J. Ferrando, MD; Lidia Klepacz, MD; Sean Lynch, BA; Sivan Shahar, BA; Rhea Dornbush, Ph.D., MPH; Abbas Smiley, M.D., Ph.D.; Ivan Miller, M.D.; Mohammad Tavakkoli, M.D., MPH; John Regan, NP; Abraham Bartell, M.D., M.B.A.

Characteristics of calls to a COVID-19 Mental Health Hotline in a New York Pandemic Epicenter
Hussain Abdullah, MBBS; Matthew Garofalo, MD; Sean Lynch, BA; Sivan Shahar, BA; Lidia Klepacz, MD; Rhea Dornbush, PhD; Kenneth Oclatis, PhD; Jaya Save-Mundra, PhD; Alexander Lerman, MD; Stephen J. Ferrando, MD

COVID-19 and Olfactory Hallucinations
Parul Kumar, MD; Lidia Klepacz, MD; Alexander Lerman, MD; Stephen J. Ferrando, MD

Hussain M Abdullah, Vishnuprita Samarendra, ALexander Lerman. Patient Non-disclosure, a clinical perspective. Textbook.

Adam Schein. What makes resident well-being initiatives successful? Addressing burnout in our residency program and others. APA 2020

Gupiteo, K., Daniels C. Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia and Post-stroke Psychosis: A Case Report. Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry San Diego, CA November 2019

Hussain M Abdullah, Stephen Ferrando - Poster 4917–Case of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder: Review of potential role of serotonergic system and treatment response

Hussain M Abdullah, Rhea Dornbush, Mitchell Nobler - Poster- Posterior fossa meningioma with cerebellar mass effect presenting as decline in cognitive function and impaired affective modulation: Review of the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome. AAGC, 2020.

Michael Diamond, Juan Rivolta, Ahsan Farid, Abraham Bartell - Is it PANDAS something else? A case study of a 12-year-old male with a history of PANDAS, with an alternate diagnoses explaining current symptoms

Anum Khan - Poster 4084 Psychosis or HIV associated encephalitis? An unusual presentation of immune deficiency.

Anum Khan - Poster 4160: Falling through the cracks - suicidality in chronic medical illness.

Anum Khan - Poster 4543: Current practices in the treatment of adult ADHD

Ahsan Farid, Michael Diamond - Barriers to Clozapine use in the United States of America

Mohammad Farooqi, Azeb Hameed - Poster 4483–Creativity: Towards a Network Model

Kinjal Patel - Role of Shame and Survivor’s Guilt in the Development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Following Mass Violence: Case Report and Literature Review. APA 2020.

Vishnupriya Samarendra - Poster 4412 Not Here, Not Now: Understanding and Utilizing Dissociation in Therapy

Vishnupriya Samarendra - Poster 4415 Lying to Myself: Pathological Gambling and its Relationship with Self-Deception

Adil Sarfraz - Poster 4955–What are the methods of assessing emotion regulation? A systematic review

Sarah Vaithilingam - Poster 4430–Clozapine augmentation with perphenazine in a treatment resistant patient

Anna Volkovinska - Poster 4818–Insight development with early treatment adherence and response in first-break psychosis: examining the role of communication in treatment success

Anna Volkovinska - Poster 4896–Acting on imagined threats, love, and superiority: barriers to managing a forensic patient with multiple types of delusions and personality disorders

Muhammad Farooqi, Dania Lerman, Adam Schein, Alexander Lerman. Teaching & assessing interviewing competencies through a simulated patient encounter with a non-disclosing patient. Poster presentation and abstract publication at AADRT 2020 Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX.

Adam Schein, Muhammad Farooqi, Dania Lerman, Alexander Lerman. Gun! A simulated encounter with an armed and agitated patient. Poster presentation and abstract publication at AADRT 2020 Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX.

Bianca-Nandini Jambhekar, Tucker Callahan, Michael Diamond, Mohammad Tavakkoli. Is it the Adderall? A Case Report of Adderall Withdrawal-Induced Dystonia in a Patient with Substance Use Disorder. APA 2020 APA annual conference , SFO, CA, 2019


Current and Past Residents

   

PGY-I

 

Coby Basal, MD

Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

 

Mary Cole, MD

New York University School of Medicine

 

Sarah El Halabi, MD

American University of Beirut Faculty of Medicine

 

Ely Fish, MD

Sackler School of Medicine

  

Nissan Frager, MD

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

 

Emily Groenendaal, MD

New York Medical College

 

Samina Mahesar, MBBS

Peoples University of Medical Health Sciences for Women, Pakistan

  

Kate Morant, MD

New York Medical College

 
 

Sormeh Nourbakhsh, MD

Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences

  

Surbhi Pathania, MBBS

Acharya Shri Chander College of Medical Sciences

   

Fajar Raza, MBBS

Aga Khan University Medical College

 

PGY-II

Rizwan Amin, MBBS

King Edward Medical University, Pakistan

Daniel DeSimone, DO

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Joseph Elfar, MD

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Andres Estela, MD 

New York Medical College

Laura Fischer, MD

Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

Maeve Greenberg, MD 

American University of the Caribbean

Wajiha Khan, MD

State University of New York Upstate Medical University

 

Christopher Tang, MD

Loma Linda University School of Medicine

Margaret Yoon, DO

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

PGY-III

Vanessa D’souza, MD

St. George’s University School of Medicine (Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Program)

Michael Diamond, MD

Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Israel 

Faiza Farooq, MBBS

Dow Medical College, Pakistan

Muhammad Farooqi, MBBS

Nishtar Medical University, Pakistan

Brandon Jacobi, DO

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine 

Alexander Libman, MD

Sackler School of Medicine, New York State American Branch, Israel

Corey Saperia, MD

Sackler School of Medicine, Israel 

Adil Sarfraz, MD

American University of Antigua College of Medicine

Anna Volkovinskaia, MD

Saba University School of Medicine

James O’Reilly, DO

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Asaf Jacobs, MD

Sackler School of Medicine, New York State American Branch, Israel 

Ahsan Farid, MBBS

Dow Medical College, Pakistan 

PGY-IV

Faith Consiglio, MD

Stony Brook University School of Medicine

Raafay Deen, DO

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

 

Ariel Heller, DO

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine

Alice Jiang, DO

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine

Anum Khan, MBBS

Allama Iqbal Medical College, Pakistan

Eric Ross, MD

New York Medical College

Adam Schein, MD

New York Medical College

Michael Trobiano, MD

American University of Antigua College of Medicine

 

Fellowship Programs of Graduates

2021 Graduates

Hussain Abdullah, MD

Argyro Athanasiadi, MD

Matthew Garofalo, MD

Parul Kumar, MD

Vishnupriya Samarendra, MD

2020 Graduates

  • Psychosomatic Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zucker Hillside School of Medicine – Northwell Health, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zucker Hillside School of Medicine – Northwell Health, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stony Brook University, Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Boston’s Children Hospital, Harvard School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire

2019 Graduates

  • Addiction Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • Addiction Psychiatry, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Zucker Hillside School of Medicine – Northwell Health, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Montefiore Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
  • Addiction Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Arizona
  • Psychosomatic Medicine and Psycho-Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

2018 Graduates

  • Geriatric Psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Westchester Medical Center
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Westchester Medical Center
  • Psychosomatic Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Faculty

Stephen J. Ferrando, MD
Edith Har Esh, M.D. Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Medical School: Northwestern University Medical College
Residency Training: University of California, San Francisco
Fellowship Training: Weill Cornell Medical College - NIMH-funded HIV/AIDS research training fellowship

Clinical and Research Interests: He is interested in nosology of psychiatric diagnosis, psychopharmacology and neuropsychiatric aspects of medical illness. He has focused his clinical work and research on the treatment of major mood disorders such as depression, as well as on the neuropsychiatric and quality of life aspects of chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, liver transplantation and neurological diseases.

Publications: View on PubMed.

Alexander Lerman, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Residency Program Director, Clerkship Director
Medical School: Downstate Cum Laude 1987
Residency Training: New York Hospital/Westchester Division
Fellowship Training: CAP- New York Hospital/Westchester Division; Psychoanalytic Program Columbia University

Clinical and Research Interests: He is interested in developing ways to incorporate findings from advancement in neuroscience into clinical psychiatry. He is focused on projects enhancing the psychiatric interviewing and evaluation capacity of general psychiatry trainees.

Publications: Charder C, Liberatos P, Trobiano M, Dornbush R, Way B, Lerman A. The influence of New York’s SAFE Act on individuals seeking mental health treatment. Psychiatric Quarterly. August 2020. doi.org/10.1007/s11126-020-09816-4 Book: PATIENT NON-DISCLOSURE (SPRINGER), In press.

Mitchell Nobler, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Director of Geriatric Psychiatry, Westchester Medical Center
Medical School: New York University School of Medicine
Residency Training: The Presbyterian Hospital, NY & New York State Psychiatric Institute
Fellowship Training: The Presbyterian Hospital, NY & New York State Psychiatric Institute

Clinical and Research Interests: Geriatric psychiatry, late life depression, neuromodulation, ECT.

Publications: Sackeim, H.A., Prudic, J., Devanand, D.P., Nobler. M.S., et al. The Benefits and Costs of Changing Treatment Technique in Electroconvulsive Therapy Due to Insufficient Improvement of a Major Depressive Episode. Brain Stimulation In print.

Mohammad Tavakkoli, MD, MPH, MSc
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry, Psychiatry Clerkship Site Directors
Medical School: Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Residency Training: Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College
Additional: Master of Science in Global Health and Population from Harvard School of Public Health.

Clinical and Research Interests: He is interested in Suicide Risk Assessment; Schizophrenia; Mood Disorders; Psychiatric Documentation; Professionalism; and Global Psychiatry

Santhi S Ratakonda, MD
Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Attending Physician in Psychiatry
Medical School: Sri Venkateswara Medical College, India
Residency Training: New York Hospital – Cornell Medical Center (1991-1995)
Fellowship Training: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (Schizophrenia Research 1996-1998)

Clinical and Research Interests: He is interested in teaching and psychiatry research with focus on nosology and treatment of psychotic disorders

Publications: Ratakonda S, Gorman JM, Yale S, Amador XA (1998) Characterization of psychotic conditions: Use of the domains of psychopathology model. Arch Gen Psychiat, 55:75-81. Sharif ZA, Raza A, Ratakonda SS (2000) Comparative efficacy of risperidone and clozapine in the treatment of patients with refractory schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder: A retrospective analysis. J Clin Psychiat, 61:498-504. Amador XF, Ratakonda S (1996) The diagnosis of schizophrenia: past, present and future. In, Schizophrenia: new directions for clinical research and treatment. Kaufmann CA, Gorman JM editors. Mary Ann Liebert Inc. Publishers, NY, pages 5-15.

Kandace Reece, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Attending Psychiatrist
Medical School: New York Medical College
Residency Training: Westchester Medical Center, NY
Fellowship Training: Westchester Medical Center, NY

Lidia Klepacz, MD
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Emergency Psychiatry Section Chief
Medical School: Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Residency Training: Adult Psychiatry, Columbia University, NY
Fellowship Training: Geriatric Psychiatry, NYU, NY

Clinical and Research Interests: She is serving as NYMC Behavioral Sciences Course Director, NYMC HILLS Program Director, NYMC Psychiatry Interest group supervisor, Member of Physicians for Human Rights Association, Psychiatry consultant for students run Refugee Program, MAT Suboxone consulting services for patients with mental illness and opiates use disorder. She has interest and clinical training in Trauma, PTSD and substance use disorders.

Publications: View on PubMed.

Yvette Smolin, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Director Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Service and Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship
Medical School: New Jersey Medical School
Residency Training: Einstein/Montefiore Psychiatry Residency
Fellowship Training: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Clinical and Research Interests: She is interested in psychiatric issues with oncology patients and women’s issues.

Reena Baharani, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Attending Psychiatrist, Consult Liaison Psychiatry
Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine
Residency Training: Stony Brook University Hospital
Fellowship Training: Psychosomatic Medicine, Stony Brook University Hospital

Clinical and Research Interests: She is interested in capacity, ethics cases, delirium, catatonia and neuropsychiatric cases.

Publications: Baharani R, Smolin Y, Bartell A. COVID-19 Psychosis: A Potential New Neuropsychiatric Condition Triggered by Novel Coronavirus Infection and the Inflammatory Response? Psychosomatics. 2020 Sep-Oct;61(5):551-555. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2020.05.012. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32593479; PMCID: PMC7236749.

Susan Kemker, MD
Academic Rank: Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
ACT Team Psychiatrist
Medical School: Indiana University
Residency Training: Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
Fellowship Training: Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center—Consultation-Liaison Division

Clinical and Research Interests: Community psychiatry

Gary Schultheis, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Attending Psychiatrist, Outpatient Department
College: Yale University, BA in Molecular Biophysics
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh
Residency Training: Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard university

Clinical and Research Interests: Psychiatric treatment of Adult Outpatients, both medication management and individual therapy. Specialty Psychiatric treatment of HIV infected patients. Supervising Psychiatrist and Director of Step Up Program (IOP) for individuals diagnosed with Personality Disorders which combines MBT + DBT; Group psychotherapy MBT Group and individual psychotherapy within the program; supervision of all psychiatric treatment within this program; including coordination with the DBT component.

Stephen P. Sullivan, MD
Clinical Instructor
Attending Psychiatrist, Outpatient services
Medical School: SUNY Health Science Center College of Medicine Brooklyn
Residency Training: St. Vincent’s hospital New York, NY

Clinical and Research Interests: He is interested in teaching psychoanalysis and is certified in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

Catherine Daniels, MD
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Attending Psychiatrist, Division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry
Medical School: University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Residency Training: Mount Sinai School of Medicine/The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY: Psychiatry
Fellowship Training: New York University School of Medicine / NYU Affiliated Academic Hospitals, New York, NY: Psychiatry - Psychosomatic Medicine

Clinical and Research Interests: She has interest in consultation-liaison psychiatry, treatment of perinatal mental health disorders.

Publications: Gupiteo K, Daniels-Brady C. (November 2019). Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia and Post-stroke Psychosis: A Case Report. Poster session presented at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. Daniels-Brady C, Shahul HA. (November 2018). Usefulness of Long-acting Injectable Antipsychotics on a C-L Psychiatry Service. Poster session presented at the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL. Daniels-Brady C, Rieder R. “An Assigned Teaching Resident Rotation”. Academic Psychiatry. July/August 2010; 34 (4): 263-268. Catherine Daniels-Brady, MD and Asher Simon, MD (April 22, 2008) “Stuck between two planes, Spirituality and Reality: A 26 year-old woman with psychosis” Clinical Grand Rounds at Mount Sinai Hospital Miller L., Daniels-Brady C. “Depression During Perimenopause” Menopause Management. September/October 2005; 14 (5): 10-16.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Abraham S. Bartell MD, MBA
Associate Professor & Vice Chair
Assoc. Dir. & Vice Chair Dept. of Psychiatry, Division Chief Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Director of Pediatric Consultation Liaison service
Medical School: SUNY Downstate College of Medicine
Residency / Fellowship Training: Brown University Combined Residency Program in General Pediatrics General Psychiatry & Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AKA Triple Board Program)
Additional Information: MBA in Healthcare Administration & Policy

Clinical and Research Interests: Dr. Bartell has clinical and teaching interests in Psychopharmacology, Transition to Practice, Developmental Theories, Pediatric CL Psychiatry. He is focused on research related to Communication Skills Training, Pediatric Psycho-oncology, Impact of COVID 19 on the Child & Adolescent population.

Publications: COVID-19 Psychosis: A Potential New Neuropsychiatric Condition Triggered by Novel Coronavirus Infection and the Inflammatory Response? Ferrando SJ, Klepacz L, Lynch S, Tavakkoli M, Dornbush R, Baharani R, Smolin Y, Bartell A. Psychosomatics. 2020 Sep-Oct;61(5):551-555. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2020.05.012. Epub 2020 May 19. PMID: 32593479 A rigorous evaluation of an institutionally-based communication skills program for post-graduate oncology trainees. Bylund CL, Banerjee SC, Bialer PA, Manna R, Levin TT, Parker PA, Schofield E, Li Y, Bartell A, Chou A, Hichenberg SA, Dickler M, Kissane DW. Patient Educ Couns. 2018 Nov;101(11):1924-1933. doi: 10.1016/j.pec. 2018.05.026. Epub 2018 Jun 1. PMID: 29880404 Group-Based Trajectory Modeling of Distress and Well-Being Among Caregivers of Children Undergoing Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant. Sands SA, Mee L, Bartell A, Manne S, Devine KA, Savone M, Kashy DA. J Pediatr Psychol. 2017 Apr 1;42(3):283-295. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw064.PMID: 27543915 A randomized clinical trial of a parent-focused social-cognitive processing intervention for caregivers of children undergoing hematopoetic stem cell transplantation. Manne S, Mee L, Bartell A, Sands S, Kashy DA. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2016 May;84(5):389-401. doi: 10.1037/ccp0000087. Epub 2016 Feb 25. PMID: 26913620 Barriers to psychological care among primary caregivers of children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Devine KA, Manne SL, Mee L, Bartell AS, Sands SA, Myers-Virtue S, Ohman-Strickland P. Support Care Cancer. 2016 May;24(5):2235-2242. doi: 10.1007/s00520-015-3010-4. Epub 2015 Nov 17. PMID: 26576965

Steven Dickstein, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Program Director for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship
Medical School: NYU School of Medicine
Residency Training: Brown University- Combined Residency in Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Child Psychiatry
Fellowship Training: Brown University- Combined Residency in Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Child Psychiatry

Clinical and Research Interests: Completed a T-32 Research Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the NYU Child Study Center

Juan A. Rivolta, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Chief, Child Inpatient Unit
Medical School: National University of Tucuman
Residency Training: Bronx Care / Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Fellowship Training: Westchester Medical Center / New York Medical College

Clinical and Research Interests: He is interested in clinical and research topics related to LGBTQ+

John A. Zagat, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
Attending Psychiatrist Outpatient and Telehealth
Medical School: New York University Grossman School of Medicine
Residency Training: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Fellowship Training: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Clinical and Research Interests: He has interest and expertise in mood disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, tele-psychiatry, electronic and social media addiction, and school psychiatry/mental health.

Hiejin Yoon, MD
Clinical Instructor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Medical Director in the Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, Behavioral Health Center
Medical School: School of Medicine at Ewha Women’s University, Seoul, South Korea
Residency Training: Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and College of Medicine
Fellowship Training: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Long Island Jewish Medical Center, School of Medicine at Hofstra University in New York.

Clinical and Research Interests: She is focused on National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded study of Pharmacotherapeutic measures aimed at improving self-control among youth with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD.

Grace Pinto Britton, MD
Attending Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
Medical School: Sophie Davis/SUNY Downstate
Residency Training: Pediatric residency at SUNY Downstate
Fellowship Training: Psychiatry & Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training via the Post Pediatric Portal Program in University Hospitals/Case Western


Application Requirements

We are pleased to hear of your interest in the Westchester Medical Center / New York Medical College Psychiatry Residency Program.

All applications must go through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application Service) www.aamc.org/eras. We encourage both allopathic and osteopathic graduates of U.S. medical schools as well as highly qualified international graduates to apply.

Answers to commonly asked questions regarding requirements and our timeline are as follows.

For all applicants:

  • USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK & CS or COMLEX Level 1, Level 2 CE & PE are required.
  • High scores on these exams (minimum of 205 for USMLE, 480 for COMLEX), with each part taken only once are strongly preferred. Candidates with lower scores may be considered if the rest of their application is very strong, however, those with failures on more than one step will not be considered.
  • A personal statement explaining your interest in psychiatry is very important.  Please do not simply reiterate your accomplishments; let us know something about yourself that is not on the application.
  • Interviews begin in early November and applications should be submitted no later than December 15.
  • Interviews are conducted on Fridays, either 8:45-1:30, or 11:15-4:00, which will be held virtually this year.  Please see www.aamc.org/eras for information about the ERAS application process.

For International Medical Graduates:

  • American psychiatric experience (at least one month, more is preferred), with letters from American physicians, including at least one psychiatrist, is required. Equivalent experience will also be considered (e.g. UK, Canada, some other countries).
  • Research experience is desirable, but not required.
  • Recent graduation from medical school is also preferred (2012 or later).
  • U.S. citizenship, J1 visa status or a Green Card are preferred.
  • Passing Step 3 is desirable.
  • ECFMG certification is required prior to the start of training, but applicants may be interviewed if they have passed Step 1 and Step 2 CK & CS, but have not yet received their certification.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.
  • We only accept residents through the Main Match of the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP).
  • Our residency is approximately 50% each of international and US graduates.

Residency Contacts


Alexander Lerman, MD

Residency Training Director
Vice Chairman for Education and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Behavioral Health Center, Room N-312
914.493.1863
Alexander.Lerman@WMCHealth.org



Patty Williamson 

Westchester Medical Center Residency Program Coordinator
Behavioral Health Center, N-314
Phone: 914.493.1939
Fax: 914.493.1015
Patty.Williamson@WMCHealth.org

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