Update on Kentucky’s Psychiatry Residency Programs

University of Kentucky
by Dr. Sandra Batsel-Thomas

It is an exciting time of growth for the University of Kentucky Psychiatry Residency Program.  We started a new Integrated Child and Adolescent psychiatry track this year that allows applicants to match into the Adult Psychiatry and the Child Psychiatry Fellowship at the same time.  It also allows for more training in pediatrics and pediatric neurology.  The first two interns started in this track in July.   We also are staring recruiting this year for our newly improved  5 year combined Internal Medicine/Psychiatry Residency Program.  This will have 2 residents a year and will be a great complement to our Triple Board residency program.

We had 8 new interns start in our various residency programs this July.  We have 4 in our categorical program, 2 in the Integrated Child and Adolescent Psychiatry track and 2 in our Triple Board program.  We also had 4 new child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellows and one new Addiction medicine fellow start in July.  In our Categorical Psychiatry program and Integrated Child track we are holding true to our mission to train psychiatrists who want to stay and practice in the region.  Of our new interns – three are University of Kentucky COM graduates, one is a graduate of the University of Pikeville COM, one Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk COM in Harrogate TN and one is a Kentucky native and a graduate or St. George’s University School of Medicine.


University of Kentucky @ Bowling Green
by Dr. Todd Cheever

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine started a Psychiatry residency program in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2016. Currently, there are twelve residents in the general adult program. At the conclusion of this past academic year, two residents graduated from the program. Both are now working in Tennessee as adult psychiatrists. Two residents were accepted into Child & Adolescent fellowships programs – one at the University of Colorado in Denver, and one at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.


University of Louisville
by Dr. Geoffrey Jeyasingham & Dr. Greg Wykoff

The University of Louisville Psychiatry Residency Program began its new academic year in July and welcomed nine new PGY-1 residents to the program. The program completed another successful match and filled all nine available positions. The new intern class is comprised of five females and four males. Six of the nine are US medical school graduates and four have already passed their USMLE Step 3 exam. The average Step 2 score of the class is, once again, well above the national average for incoming Psychiatry interns. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with our interns thus far and anticipate they will continue to prove a wonderful addition to our department.

Although the pandemic has certainly affected our lives both at work and at home, our residency program has continued to prioritize residents’ education. To do so, our program has transitioned from weekly in-person didactics to virtual learning experiences via apps such as Zoom and BlueJeans.  This transition began in early March and has continued through the Summer and early Fall.  To accomplish this, residents have taken a greater leadership role in teaching their peers and facilitating a more active learning environment. While there certainly are some elements that are missed from the on-site learning experience, virtual didactics have provided several benefits.  Among these are increased safety and convenience, as well as improved opportunities for collaboration.

Finally, the program has continued to embrace the role of telepsychiatry and telemedicine in providing patient care. The University of Louisville has been at the forefront of implementing and utilizing telepsychiatry services for patients throughout the state of Kentucky for many years, and this history has proved to be very helpful in adjusting to a primarily telepsychiatric clinic. We anticipate that our program will continue to prepare residents to provide outstanding psychiatric care both in person and virtually as the practice of Psychiatry continues to evolve.

 Regarding community outreach, our program is excited to announce we have a new partnership with Park Duvalle that will allow PGY-3 residents the opportunity to work closely with an underserved and historically marginalized portion of the community.  We anticipate that this experience will help our residents to gain a greater appreciation for outpatient care at the community level, and feel experience at Park Duvalle will strongly complement other clinical experiences at the University of Louisville and Veterans Hospital.  

Overall, we feel that despite the many unanticipated setbacks related to the Covid pandemic, University of Louisville is well-situated to continue to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of modern psychiatry.  We continue to attract an increasingly strong pool of applicants for residency and are working to improve the quality and variety of our clinical experiences, including our long history of promoting telepsychiatry and virtual learning.  As such, we believe the future of U of L Psychiatry to be bright, and believe things will continue to improve as time goes by, even in these uncertain times.