IOL Adult Psychiatry Residents 2023-24

Welcome to the Institute of Living’s Adult Psychiatry Residency Program!

Dear Prospective Candidates,

The Institute of Living (or as we call it, the IOL) is located on 35 beautiful acres designed by renowned landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted. The rich heritage of the IOL can be traced back to 1822, when it began as one of the earliest psychiatric institutions in the country and the first hospital of any kind in the state of Connecticut. The IOL has been on the forefront of advances in psychiatric care since its inception as an early proponent of the moral treatment approach to implementing some of the first trials of revolutionary medications such as lithium.

The IOL Psychiatry Residency epitomizes excellence in teaching while providing patients with superb psychiatric care. The program achieves this whilst respecting the individual, personal lives of its residents. Residents at our program have varied interests and hobbies that they are encouraged to pursue along with fostering relationships with their friends and families to become well-rounded psychiatrists. Residents represent a diverse range of educational backgrounds, life experiences, and identities, but all share a sense of intellectual curiosity without being competitive, valuing empathetic and informed patient care, and a belief that taking care of ourselves and each other is also essential to taking good care of our patients. Being a small program (6 residents per class) allows for a supportive and cohesive environment.

You will learn more about all of the varied services and opportunities here at the IOL during your virtual tour and interview day but it is worth highlighting some unique strengths. First and foremost, the teaching staff and supervisors are all invested in the residents’ education and are highly approachable. Many of them teach in both the clinical and didactic roles and serve as mentors and psychotherapy supervisors as well. Residents have daily interaction with in-house teaching attendings, a diverse caseload chosen from a large pool of patients, and supportive teaching and supervision.

We have an active residency council and strong commitment within the program to have residents’ voices take part in shaping the residency experience and curriculum. Our on-call shifts are highly educational and supported by a resident supervisory system. Call is on a non-sleep deprivation schedule, leaving residents feeling engaged for all of the learning that takes place during the day.

Another strength is our close proximity and collaboration with Hartford Hospital and Connecticut Children's Medical Center - residents rotate through both sites, and each contain an atmosphere of mutual respect between psychiatry and other medical specialties. We also co-inhabit the IOL with the Psychology Internship and Postdoctoral Training Programs which results in ample educational interaction between our fields.

While the overarching framework of our education is based in a integrated concept of the mind and all of its structural and functional complexities, we are grounded in psychodynamic principles including bimonthly resident groups, weekly meetings to process patient interactions, formal supervision within rotations to manage the complex feelings which sometimes develop, and impromptu discussions with other residents and faculty as interesting issues arise. For residents here, this really elevates the way we approach all of our patients. We also receive nuanced education in psychopharmacology, neurobiology, ECT, and other psychotherapy modalities.

At the IOL, residents rotate through the inpatient units, outpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs, the psychiatric Emergency Department (at Hartford Hospital) and more. This leads to frequent collaboration between residents and allows for great continuity of care. On campus, there are numerous specialty clinics which address anxiety disorders, peripartum mood disorders, schizophrenia rehabilitation, and addiction recovery to name a few. We are encouraged to explore and become involved in areas of our interests including research opportunities available through the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center (cutting edge fMRI studies), clinical trials of new medications, and clinical genetics, among others.

On the lighter side, we have many organized and impromptu gatherings throughout the year, from a welcome picnic and a holiday party to simply going out for dinner after a late afternoon class. We also have three retreats annually that provide a mixture of wellness, community service, and educational activities.

Hartford is a small city, but has a lot to offer through its theater, museums, minor league sports teams, and concerts. There are plenty of restaurant options as well as walking/hiking/biking trails both within the city and in neighboring towns, where many residents choose to live. The area's cost of living is manageable on a resident's salary and residents with children will benefit from Connecticut's excellent school systems. In addition to the amenities offered in the area, many residents take advantage of our close proximity to New York City and Boston for day trips or weekend excursions. Other popular destinations include hiking in New Hampshire or Massachusetts, the beaches of Maine and Rhode Island, and skiing in Vermont - to name a few. Bradley International Airport is just 20 minutes away and has many affordable, nonstop flights to many major American cities, vacation destinations, as well as Dublin, Ireland.

Choosing the right residency can be a difficult task as you decide on your areas of interest and tease out the details that are important to you in a program. We hope that we have given you an idea of what living and working with us would be like here at the IOL. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns. We hope that whether it is here with us or at another program, that you find a good fit for you and have happiness and success in this exciting and rewarding field.

Emily Rosen-Wachs, DO
RJ Weir, MD

Chief Residents
Alicia Lipscomb, MD
President, Resident Council