Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency

From the Training Directors

Salma Malik, MD
Program Director
Sheena Joychan, MD
Sheena Joychan, MD
Assistant Program Director

Welcome to the Institute of Living’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program! We are so pleased that you are considering our training program as you explore the next steps in your professional journey.

Child and adolescent psychiatry is an incredibly important, challenging, and gratifying medical specialty, and we believe that proper training in child and adolescent psychiatry is crucial in providing comprehensive medical care to children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders, as well as supporting their families. Our mission is to provide world-class training to the next generation of child and adolescent psychiatrists, and our fellows leave our program as outstanding professional, ethical, knowledgeable, and empathic child and adolescent psychiatrists who are eager to innovate and advance the field, both locally and internationally.

The Institute of Living serves a large and diverse patient population, and we are privileged to hear many interesting and unique stories. Our fellows gain extensive clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and families from a variety of ethnic, cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Over their two years of training, through rotations and didactics, our fellows develop a strong foundation of clinical knowledge and skills, one that we believe will serve them well over the course of their career. Fellows rotate through a broad range of clinical care settings including inpatient units, outpatient programs, the emergency department, residential programs, and our therapeutic day school. Every rotation involves a progression from direct to indirect supervision, allowing fellows to assume greater responsibility and autonomy in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of their patients over time.

The practice of child and adolescent psychiatry requires a developmental perspective, with a detailed understanding of both normal and abnormal child and adolescent development. Our program prides itself on providing balanced training in both psychotherapeutic and psychosomatic treatment modalities. We believe that, in order to offer effective care, child and adolescent psychiatrists must understand various theoretical perspectives, including biological, psychodynamic, developmental, cognitive, and behavioral approaches. They also must be able to integrate their knowledge and utilize different techniques from the various perspectives while treating patients, and we encourage our fellows to always consider how to “bring it back to the clinic.”

Our program strongly supports and encourages our fellows to explore and develop their own professional interests. We offer a multitude of opportunities to engage in clinical, research, and academic pursuits – and we are always ready to curate additional experiences if a fellow expresses interest in something that we do not yet offer! Our diverse and experienced clinical faculty have a variety of interests of their own and are dedicated to providing teaching, mentorship, and supervision to our fellows. The size of our program allows for our trainees to receive individualized attention and support to further advance their personal and professional growth. This also allows for the development of cherished life-long relationships between our trainees and faculty, who often remain in touch following graduation. In addition, we offer many opportunities for scholarly activity and research with mentorship from experts in the field. Our fellows have presented their work at an array of national and international meetings and have been published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals.

The Institute of Living’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship aims to train our fellows to be effective physicians, therapists, psychiatric consultants, multidisciplinary team leaders, advocates, and experts in the mental health needs of children, adolescents, and families. We are delighted that you are considering our program, and we hope to have the opportunity to meet with you and tell you more about the many exciting programs and experiences we have to offer. The world needs more child and adolescent psychiatrists, and we are constantly inspired by our trainees’ passion for this work. We would love to share our vision with you and welcome you to our IOL family.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions about our program or about child and adolescent psychiatry in general.

Wishing you all the best as you continue down this new path,

Program Director

Sheena Joychan, MD
Assistant Program Director

From the Chief Residents

Raja Ramis Akhtar, MBBS
Raja Ramis Akhtar, MBBS
Chief Resident
Pragya Verma
Pragya Verma, DO
Chief Resident

Dear Applicant,

We are delighted that you are considering the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship program at the Institute of Living (IOL)/Hartford Healthcare.

Founded in 1822, the IOL is one of the oldest psychiatric treatment centers in the country, and remains part of a small group of the country’s earliest psychiatric facilities, considered the “Ivy League” of psychiatry. The IOL has a long history of humanistic treatment of mental illness and remains at the forefront of research in the field, while offering renowned and nuanced psychiatric care to our patients. As the flagship institution in the behavioral health component of Hartford Healthcare, we have a wide, culturally-diverse catchment area that serves central Connecticut and beyond as a major referral center. Our child and adolescent psychiatry department also maintains close ties with Connecticut Children's Medical Center, the only hospital in Connecticut devoted exclusively to the care of children and adolescents.

As a fellow at the IOL, you will receive training from a distinguished faculty in a vibrant engaging academic environment. The fellowship program is committed to providing an encompassing understanding of children and adolescents on both a dynamic and practical level, through carefully designed clinical rotations and extensive didactics that focus on dynamic principles, therapeutic considerations, and an in-depth understanding of development. You will have direct clinical supervision with increasing autonomy and progressive patient care responsibilities over the course of your training, ably assisted by a faculty committed to all aspects of your growth as a skilled child and adolescent psychiatrist. There is special emphasis on the bio-psycho-social model of formulation which includes unique broad psychotherapy training and supervision.

Our graduates go on to a variety of positions ranging from continued work here at the IOL, private practice, community hospitals, administration/hospital leadership, and fellowships in addiction psychiatry, consultation-liaison and forensic psychiatry.


The two-year fellowship consists of diverse clinical experiences on both our 35-acre campus devoted completely to the treatment of mental illness and also exposure to a medically complex population at Connecticut Children’s across the street. IOL on-site clinical experiences include: rotations in our separate inpatient child and adolescent units and two on-site outpatient clinics. We begin seeing children and carrying our own small outpatient caseload during the first year to allow for a longitudinal experience treating children and families that grows progressively throughout our training. We also spend time in our multiple outpatient programs on campus which include our partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) with sub-groups focused on substance use and LGBTQ special populations, as well as an early psychosis IOP track for adolescents. Fellows also spend time providing consultation and treatment at the Grace-Webb School, our on-site therapeutic elementary, middle and high school. The consultation-liaison and emergency department rotations take place at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where IOL faculty and fellows provide nearly all psychiatric services.

Rotations in the surrounding community include experiences in state hospitals and state residential facilities, local public schools, in-home services, and in affiliated specialty hospitals (including rotations at a hospital for children with autism spectrum disorder and at a substance use residential treatment center within the Hartford Healthcare network). Rotations in Neurology and Genetics through our Connecticut Children’s affiliate provide complementary views to an often-shared treatment population.

Elective Rotations

During the second year, fellows are allotted four months of electives during which time fellows have a choice of spending time in an established clinical program, or designing an individualized elective of their choosing. Some options include participating in research projects on campus, training at the Anxiety Disorders Center (a renowned center focused on cognitive behavioral therapy for children and adults), rotating at a child abuse evaluation/treatment center, participating in pediatric pain clinic evaluations, spending time at the long-term state hospital facilities, contributing to children’s grief counseling, working in our medically complex outpatient clinic (including with pediatric psychiatry patients recovering from autoimmune encephalitis) and spending time in a specialized autism outpatient clinic.

Other Opportunities

Our program also includes a forensic component that incorporates mock trials, actual trial observations, and regular interdisciplinary seminars with local forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, and attorneys. In addition, our fellows are actively involved in teaching third and fourth year medical students from the University of Connecticut, visiting medical students from other universities and second year psychiatry residents from the Institute of Living General Adult Psychiatry Program as well as the UCONN General Adult Psychiatry program.

The Olin Neuropsychiatric Research Center and the Burlingame Research Center provide excellent prospects for research. We encourage you to explore our website to gain a sense of many other areas of psychiatric research available at the IOL.

You will have a flexible call schedule during the first year, with no scheduled calls in the second year. Moonlighting opportunities are available in our inpatient units and emergency room.

We invite you to visit us at the Institute of Living and look forward to hearing from you.

Chiefs’ Initiative

The chief residents are tasked with creating an initiative for the upcoming academic year. For this academic year, we have chosen to promote cohesiveness and strengthen bonds amongst the fellows. As we emerge from an era of masks and social distancing, it is important to us to resume and even exceed pre-COVID opportunities to come together outside of clinical and academic work. We feel that creating these bonds will help fellows truly feel like they have a support system behind them as they navigate the challenges of working with our vulnerable and complex patient population. We plan to achieve this by advocating for more time within fellowship programming for wellness breaks, fostering a warm and welcoming environment, and getting together as much as possible outside of the hospital. We always enjoy discussing our interests and are happy share more about this initiative with you on the day of your interview.

Best Regards,
Raja Ramis Akhtar, MBBS & Pragya Verma, DO
Chief Residents