Because resident input is critical to the continued improvement and excellence of our program, there are many opportunities for trainees to provide feedback. Peer-selected residents from each class serve on the Program Evaluation Committee, our primary committee for oversight of the policies and procedures of the residency. In addition, there is a monthly resident business meeting chaired by the departmental chief resident(s), who then represent the classes in regularly, weekly meetings with program director staff. Finally, our annual spring residency retreat is designed to increase the communication between residents and to provide additional formal program feedback.
There are numerous planned social activities throughout the year to promote class/residency cohesion and allow residents to relax and recharge. In July, the program directors host a welcome gathering for residents and their family members in his home. The program directors meet with interns early in their first year for breakfast or lunch to allow them to get to know each other. Each fall, there is a welcome retreat to help the new residents join the program. In early December, a get together at one of the program directors' homes to allow for celebration of the holidays and the half-way mark of the academic year. At the conclusion of the academic year, the residency graduation celebration occurs in June.
Mental Illness Awareness Week
Psychiatry residents participate annually in the Mental Illness Awareness Week activities. After a preparatory series of meetings, residents provide lectures at area middle and high schools covering topics such as, what is mental illness?
These efforts have generated public response resulting in our residents receiving the Award for Outstanding Institutional Service of the Volunteers in Public Schools - a 20,000 member Houston volunteer organization. Furthermore, scholarly reports of these activities have been published by residents in Academic Psychiatry, American Journal of Psychiatry, and Hospital and Community Psychiatry.
This community outreach spirit among residents has become formalized into a resident-coordinated subcommittee of the RPC called PROPS or (Psychiatry Residents Outreach to the Public Sector). Through this committee, residents have lobbied legislators in Austin, Texas; have met with Houston clergy to build bridges between the medical and religious communities in Houston; have expanded their comfort interacting with media personnel via a media training workshop; and have expanded their efforts to teach Houston students via a program with the Houston Bar Association called IDEA (Interdisciplinary Drug Education and Awareness).
General psychiatry residents at Baylor hold numerous national fellowship positions awarded by the American Psychiatric Association, the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training. The department actively supports the development of our talented residents, which enables them to have national exposure and recognition of their efforts and abilities.