Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

General Psychiatry Residency Director's Message

Media Component
Dr Lindsey Pershern
Dr. Lindsey Pershern

Welcome! It is a pleasure to invite you to explore the offerings of Baylor College of Medicine’s Psychiatry Residency Training Program. I remember being in your shoes many years ago, faced with the challenge and excitement of selecting a training program and seeking as much information as possible to make the best choice for me and my future career. I am grateful that I found that place in Baylor and returned to join the program leadership in 2021 as a result of the exceptional training I received, the strong community of faculty and alumni, and the department’s commitment to clinical excellence and the advancement of science and treatment of psychiatric disorders. I am so thankful for what the program has given me, and I am committed to continuous efforts to maintain its excellence through collaboration, innovation, and the cultivation of a diverse community of residents, faculty, and leaders.

Our Program

The Menninger Department of Psychiatry’s General Psychiatry Residency program offers a breadth and depth of training experiences across multiple sites to develop our residents to become successful members of our professional community in all areas, including:

  • Clinical Excellence: Residents develop skills to provide excellent clinical care through rigorous and diverse experiences at our core affiliates including the VA system (Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center), our large county hospital (Harris Health System, Ben Taub Hospital), the Baylor Psychiatry clinic, and three private systems (Houston Methodist Hospital, The Menninger Clinic, and Texas Children’s Hospital), and multiple community partners (Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD and Legacy Community Health). Residents have access to many specialized areas of psychiatry, outlined in specialty training. Please explore the clinical sites for more information on these exceptional systems and the resident training experiences.
  • Education: Through their roles as teachers and leaders in the clinical setting and the broader community, Baylor residents learn valuable skills in teamwork and teaching. Those who wish to expand their development as educators can participate in the specialized clinician-educator track (CET). Get more information on the CET track, one of the oldest CET tracks in the country!
  • Commitment to Service: A core value of the Psychiatry department is to serve our community through enhancement of behavioral health services and education. The residency program has carried this out through the creation and flourishing of our Psychiatry Residency Outreach to the Public Sector (PROPS), started in 1985 and actively serving Houston through multiple projects each year. Residents are encouraged to participate and are excused from clinical services to volunteer in service activities, as well as develop additional projects that align with their passion and interests.
  • Psychiatric Research: All residents are encouraged to engage in research, regardless of their career goals, as we believe that having experience in research leads to better skills for life-long learning. Our residents have wonderful opportunities to participate in research through the research track, and through elective experience in PGY2, PGY3 and PGY4 years. We have robust and established research programs in the areas of addictions, brain imaging, clinical trials, child psychiatry, health services, mood and anxiety disorders, neuromodulation, neuropsychiatry, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and suicide. In addition to Baylor research programs, the diversity of our program affiliates provide access to research opportunities with mentors at the MEDVAMC, Harris Health, and The Menninger Clinic.

Our Program Competencies

  • Develop residents to achieve clinical competency in all patient care domains through diverse experiences in diverse settings with skilled faculty supervision appropriate to their level of training,
  • Prepare residents with foundational knowledge through coordinated educational programming,
  • Support resident wellness and resiliency in an environment of scholarly inquiry,
  • Develop life-long learners who serve both as team members and team leaders, and
  • Cultivate humanistic and ethical practitioners of high quality, evidence-based, psychiatric care across the life-cycle, with integration of continuous quality improvement and patient safety into their practices.

Our Commitment

We are committed to training future psychiatrists through high-quality, rigorous training experiences. After completing Baylor’s residency program, our hope is that all residents will have a strong knowledge and skill foundation, a breadth of experiences, and a cultivated passion for serving patients with psychiatric illness.

Our country is gripping itself for the advancing workforce crisis for psychiatrists. Underserved patients and rural communities are particularly vulnerable, and it is our responsibility as training programs to prepare our graduates to address this problem. Nationally, we are advocating for GME expansion of psychiatry resident positions, but I also want to focus on the individuals we train to prepare them for long, fulfilling careers as providers, leaders and innovators. In this effort, we focus on creating opportunities for trainees to explore their interests through specialized tracks, electives, and supporting individual needs and feedback through collaborative leadership of the program with residents and faculty leaders. Residents participate in training groups each year of their training, a forum for open discussion, processing, and support led by group psychotherapists who are not part of program faculty. We prioritize resident wellness through our wellness committee led by the Wellness Chief resident, cultivation of safe spaces and a community of inclusivity where everyone’s voice is valued and heard. Residents have two retreat days each year, as well as frequent wellness activities to facilitate connectedness, bolster the resident community, and have fun!

Our Graduates

Our graduates pursue broad and diverse paths after residency and are prepared to do anything they choose. In the last eight years, more than half of our graduates have joined highly competitive fellowships across the country, including Child and Adolescent PsychiatryAddiction PsychiatryConsultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatry, and Geriatric Psychiatry, many to BCM. The remaining graduates have joined BCM as faculty, transitioned to research careers, pursued work in the community sector, and transitioned to work in the private sector. Due to the strength of our psychotherapy curriculum, we have many who have started training in psychoanalysis through the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies during their training and after completion.

Our Institution, Our Department, Our Diversity and Our City

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) was founded in 1900, making it the second oldest medical school in the state of Texas. We are proud of our institution’s history and prominence, as well as our partnership with the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the world’s largest medical complex. BCM values its resident employees and holds the title of one of the healthiest places to work in the country, prioritizing health and wellness. The Menninger Department of Psychiatry has more than 250 faculty members, 63% of whom are women. Our URM faculty representation is higher than the national average for academic medical centers, but we have work to do. Under the leadership of Dr. John Saunders, the department’s vice chair for Mental Health Equity, the training program supports departmental efforts to recruit faculty and residents to provide a community of providers to reflect the immense diversity of our community in Houston. Our city is racially diverse, ranked 7th in the nation per U.S. News and World Report, and the only city in Texas in the top 10 for big cities. Living and working in Houston is one of the biggest draws for our program, and I can speak to that personally.

We look forward to hearing from you about our admissions’ process. Thank you for your interest in our wonderful program.

Lindsey S. Pershern, MD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Director of Residency Training