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Psychiatry Residency Program

Program Director:  Gary Swanson, MD
Interim Assistant Director: Vered Birmaher Cohen, MD
Accreditation:  ACGME
Length of program: 4 years (PGY1-PGY4)
Residents per year: 4
Contact us 

About the Program

Our Psychiatry Residency Program, based at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), has the following educational mission:

  • To train residents to accurately and efficiently diagnose and treat patients with psychiatric and behavioral disorders using a biopsychosocial approach
  • To foster critical thinking and leadership skills

Mastery of these skills enhances the residents' chances of success in whatever type of position they may choose after graduation, whether it be private practice, research, academics, and/or administrative work. Most graduates go on to become clinical psychiatrists who practice in a variety of settings.

The clinical and didactic experiences are intentionally eclectic so that graduates will be proficient in addressing all of the following areas with any patient:

  • Accurate diagnosis
  • Biopsychosocial formulation that identifies possible etilogies of symptoms
  • Formulation of a treatment plan that includes any necessary medical evaluation, appropriate psychotherapies, and community, family and social interventions
  • Psychopharmacologic treatments
  • A variety of psychotherapeutic interventions, including supportive, cognitive, behavioral, psychodynamic and group treatments


Clinical Rotations


  • General Internal Medicine - 4 months minimum at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH)
  • Neurology - 2 months at AGH

Residents may request Family Practice, Pediatrics or Emergency Medicine rotations in place of some or all of the months in Internal Medicine. They may request more time in General Internal Medicine or Neurology and can use elective time for this purpose. These rotations occur on inpatient wards and psychiatry interns are expected to function on a par with medicine and neurology interns.

  • General adult inpatient unit - 6 months at Forbes Hospital


  • Emergency Psychiatry Service - 3 months at Forbes Hospital
  • Intensive Partial Hospital Program - 3 months at AGH
  • VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (Highland Drive) Schizophrenia Research Unit or Mood Disorder Unit - 2 months
  • Consultation-Liaison - 2 months
  • Child Psychiatry - 2 months at Wesley Spectrum Acute Partial Hospital Program


  • Adult Outpatient Psychiatry - 12 months

Residents learn outpatient evaluation and treatment for patients with a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems, including those that arise in the context of medical illnesses. The multidisciplinary staff provides pharmacological management, interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapies, psychodynamic therapies, family therapy and group therapy. Residents are responsible for a caseload of 40 to 50 patients, providing psychotherapy and medication management. Residents also rotate one day a week at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, providing outpatient treatment on the PTSD, Schizophrenia and/or Mood Disorder service. Residents also have an opportunity to provide short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in the student mental health clinic of Carnegie Mellon University or to work in a rural community psychiatric clinic.


  • Senior resident on inpatient units - 3 to 4 months AGH and Forbes Hospital; the focus is additional experience in the administrative aspects of running a service or ward
  • Forensic Psychiatry - 1 month
  • Electives - 7 to 8 months; residents may use these elective months in PGY2, PGY3, or PGY4


Didactic Experiences

Residents have protected time to attend weekly seminar series, a number of case conferences, Journal Club, and weekly Grand Rounds.


Application Process

All applications are handled through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS). Our program offers PGY-I positions through the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). The Psychiatry Residency Training Program will not accept any paper applications.

We offer 4 PGYI positions each academic year; we do not offer positions pre-match.

We are not able to offer observerships or externships.

The following are answers to the most frequently asked questions from applicants

  • Foreign medical school graduates -  We do accept applications from graduates of foreign medical schools.
    • We only accept J-1 visas; we do not accept H-1visas.
    • We are looking for candidates with at least 4 months of psychiatry experience in the U.S. (eg, externship, observership, or research).
    • ECFMG certification is not required for the application process, but it will be required should you match with the program.
  • USMLE - Applicants must have passed both Step I and Step II (both parts) of the USMLE.  We have no minimum score but prefer scores of 80 or higher and candidates who have passed on their first attempts.
  • We prefer applicants who have graduated in the past 5 years.

We review all applications submitted through ERAS.

Interviews are granted on an invitation basis only. Our interview season runs from mid October through the end of January.


Contact Us

Psychiatry Residency Training Program

Cindy DeLuca, Program Coordinator

Mailing address:
   Allegheny General Hospital
   Department of Psychiatry
   4 Allegheny Center, 8th Floor
   Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Telephone: 412.330.4242

Fax: 412.330.4010



Shravan Agrawal, MD
Alvaro Barriga, PhD
Vered Birmaher, MD
Damira Caric-Sicenica, MD
Amit Chopra, MD
Judith Cohen, MD
Michael Franzen, PhD
Alicia Kaplan, MD
Nancy Kennedy, PsyD
Anthony Mannarino, PhD
Anjali Medhekar, MD
Teri Meyers, PhD
Ewa Mickiewicz, MD
P.V. Nickell, MD
Gulam Noorani, MD
Michael Rancurello, MD
Lori Siegel, PhD
Christina Smith, MD
Kathleen Stewart, PsyD
Gary Swanson, MD
Richard Withers, PhD

West Penn Allegheny Health System
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