MGH McLean

Physician Scientist Training Program

An integrated training program for psychiatrist physician-scientists who seek unlimited research opportunities in a supportive setting


The purpose of the Physician Scientist Training Program in Psychiatry (PSTP) is to prepare residents for careers as investigators in academic psychiatry by facilitating greater exposure to research activities and training during residency. We are an inclusive community of scholars who seek to create new knowledge that will advance the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.


Selected applicants to the MGH/McLean Psychiatry Residency Program are invited to interview with the PSTP on a separate interview day. A formal application to the PSTP occurs in the Spring after the Match, and any current or matched residents in the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry program are invited to apply for the PSTP. Individual trainees will be selected annually, two to four at the PGY-1 level and up to two from current MGH/McLean residents. There is no separate NRMP program code for the PSTP.



During intern year, up to four weeks of elective time can be used for research.

The resident will meet with the PSTP director (Joshua Salvi, MD, PhD) and their assigned senior mentor and Research Career Mentor in support of finding a scientific mentor(s) and choosing a research setting that best complements and advances their research interests.

By the end of PGY-1, the resident should establish a research mentor to work with during the residency.  The mentor is expected to help the resident select an appropriate project, remain focused on a limited feasible set of goals, and navigate the ever-present temptations to participate in low-yield activities (e.g., workshops or meetings without clear training value, publications in non-peer-reviewed journals or books, etc.).


During PGY-2, residents have six dedicated weeks plus one half-day per week throughout the year for focused research time. At this stage residents can demonstrably take advantage of this time to further their specific research goals.

During the six weeks of dedicated research time, residents spend nearly four days per week working with their chosen mentor and research group. Residents can continue longitudinal research projects during a half-day offered to them throughout the entirety of PGY-2. By the end of PGY-2, the resident should establish a research project within their chosen group and mentor. Many residents choose to participate in one existing project (as a collaborator and potential co-author on any resulting manuscript), while laying the groundwork for their own primary work (as Primary Investigator and first-author on any resulting reports) which can flourish in PGY-3 and PGY-4.

Wednesday Didactics (4 hrs/wk), half-day outpatient Clinic (5 hrs/wk), and call duties (variable) remain core professional requirements for all members of the PGY-2 class. PSTP residents are expected to fulfill these requirements during research blocks.


During PGY-3, all residents (PSTP and otherwise) are expected to spend one day per week (10 hrs) pursuing academic or research interests during the eight months of the year not on the MGH Consult-Liaison Rotation.  How they spend this time is typically left up to residents, in consultation with their Research Career Mentor, Scientific Mentor, Training Mentor, the Residency Director, and other supervisors.

During these eight months, residents granted allocated research time typically spend two days per week (20 hrs) working with their chosen mentor and research group.  Wednesday Didactics (4 hrs/wk), Outpatient Clinic (2.5 days/wk) , and call duties (variable) remain core professional requirements for all members of the PGY-3 class, and are still required of PSTP residents during research blocks.


Up to 35 hours per week are available to spend in research activity.

Funding opportunities for PGY-5 and beyond are readily available within and beyond the Harvard Psychiatry Research Grants Programs and will be pursued under the guidance of residents’ Research Career and Scientific Mentors.

All Years

· Community events

· Journal clubs

· Research seminars

· Research-oriented didactics

· Annual meetings with Scientific Advisory Committee

· Meetings with PSTP Director


Residents in the PSTP perform a diverse array of research projects. Each resident is placed in a different research concentration, with its own unique curated collection of resources and mentorship. The research concentrations include:

  • Basic Neuroscience
  • Computational Psychiatry
  • Health Disparities and Healthcare Delivery
  • Patient Oriented and Translational


If you wish to learn more about the Physician Scientist Training Program, please email Joshua Salvi, MD, PhD for more information.

Protection for Focused Research Activities

Every resident pursuing research during residency encounters a set of challenges unique to the nature of their work and stage of training. The PSTP is designed to flexibly address each resident’s challenges and opportunities in a proactive, pragmatic way. Due to a desire to spend PGY-1 and PGY-2 fully immersed in clinical training, or if a planned project is not yet mature enough to require dedicated time, some residents defer their research time into the PGY-3 or PGY-4 years, once a lab and project have been selected and more focused, meaningful time is possible. PSTP residents who meet approved research benchmarks and maintain good standing within the clinical training program will have the opportunity to spend significant additional time pursuing research activities during the PGY-1, PGY-2 and PGY-3 years for research training, didactics, and mentored research experiences.

Decisions about protected research time are made annually each Spring based on the resident’s research plan for the following academic year. All residents graduating from the program meet ACGME requirements for Board Certification in Psychiatry within a coordinated, resource-rich, supportive environment.

Collaboration and Community

In addition to the mentorship provided by program leaders and the individual research mentors, residents are supported by dedicated training directors, including graduates of the PSTP. Residents meet for community dinners with program directors to share the progress of their work with each other and discuss experiences within the PSTP. Residents additionally participate in residency-wide journal clubs, research seminars, and didactics. The PSTP is assisted by program and research coordinator staff to ensure residents receive the research support they need in a variety of capacities.

PSTP Leadership
Research Career Mentors
Primary Scientific Mentors
Current Residents

PSTP Leadership

Joshua Salvi, MD, PhDAssociate Program Director
Associate Director, Physician Scientist Training Program
Kim CramerPSTP Program Manager
Maurizio Fava, MDChief of Psychiatry
Justin Baker, MD PhDSenior Faculty Advisor
John Denninger, MD, PhDSenior Faculty Advisor
Daniel Dickstein, MD, FAAPSenior Faculty Advisor
Jane Eisen, MDSenior Faculty Advisor
Andrew A. Nierenberg, MDSenior Faculty Advisor
Olivia I. Okereke, MD, MSDirector of the MGH Psychiatry Center for Racial Equity and Justice
Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhDSenior Faculty Advisor

Program Contacts

Joshua Salvi, MD, PhD

Associate Program Director

Massachusetts General Hospital

Kim Cramer

PSTP Program Manager

McLean Hospital
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