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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Residency Program

How to Apply

The eligibility criteria for the program:

  • Successful completion of training from an ACGME-recognized medical school
  • A valid ECFMG certificate for International Medical Graduates
  • USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (both CS and CK exams) or COMLEX part 1 and 2 (all elements) must be completed prior to beginning residency
  • Generally, we interview applicants with scores of 220 and above on Step 1 and Step 2, but all final decisions are at the discretion of the Training Directors. Failures on any step are not automatic exclusions from consideration
  • English proficiency
  • Prior psychiatric experience – preferred but not essential
  • United States healthcare system (especially hospital-based) experience – preferred but not essential
  • We accept International Medical Graduates as well as Allopathic and Osteopathic US Medical Graduates. IMG incoming residents may have advanced degrees or training in psychiatry prior to entering our program
  • We only review applications for our residency training program the through the Electronic Residency Application System (ERAS)
  • Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a psychiatrist, the Dean's Letter (MSPE), and Medical School Transcript are all elements of a complete ERAS applications. Preference will be given to complete ERAS applications 



What is the call schedule like?

There is no night-float call. 

Call shifts are weeknights from 5:00-12:00 and weekends from 8:00AM-8:00PM

What about visas?

We sponsor the following visa:

  • J1 – with valid ECFMG certificate, USMLE 1, 2, CS and CK, and English proficiency

Does the year of medical school graduation matter?

Generally applicants invited to interview with us have graduated within the past 5 years, or have already completed training in psychiatry

When is your interview season?

Interview season begins in November and continues thorough mid January

Do you offer observerships or externships? 

We are unable to offer observerships or externships at this time.

How many positions are available?

We accept 12 incoming PGY-1 residents for each academic year.

What types of fellowships do you offer?

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Geriatric Psychiatry

What about research?

We offer a wide array of research opportunities at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. These include:

  • Neurodynamics laboratory
  • The genetics of schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders ad Bipolar Disorder
  • Geriatric psychiatry
  • Anxiety and mood disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Community and social psychiatry
  • CBT for psychosis
  • Educational psychiatry (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • Psychotherapy
  • Child and Adolescent psychiatry

What types of programs do you offer?

  • General 4 year program in psychiatry
  • PhD track – 4 or 5 year (5 year preferred) program - eligibility is restricted to candidates with previous research experience and who plan on a career in research psychiatry
  • Combined general adult and child/adolescent psychiatry – 5 or 6 year program – eligibility to enter after successful completion of PGY-3 or PGY-4 general psychiatry residency
  • MPH  

What about pay and benefits?

  • Pay sources vary – PGY-1 residents do not receive their first pay check until 6-8 weeks into their training
  • Salary range is $64K - $74K from PGY-1 to PGY-4
  • Benefits include:
    • CIR
    • Medical, dental, ophthalmology and psychotherapy coverage
    • Book and travel allowance to medical conferences
    • Same-sex partner health benefits
    • 4 weeks vacation
    • Educational days, maternity and paternity allowance
  • Current Resident Agreement of Appointment
  • More information can be found at the Office of Graduate Medical Education website

What about housing?

  • We do not provide long term on campus housing
  • Provisional short term housing is sometimes available on campus
  • Student Union: State of the art fitness center, pool, discount theatre and entertainment office, medical bookstore