Meet the Director

Michael Jibson, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Residency Education, Associate Chair for Education and Academic Affairs

Psychiatry is an exciting field. Whether it is approached from the point of view of the clinician working to understand and assist an individual patient, the researcher struggling to bring to light mechanisms of brain function, or the educator introducing students, trainees, and the public to the nature of mental disorders and their treatment, psychiatry offers an incomparable richness of challenge and satisfaction. We believe that education in psychiatry should reflect that rich experience.

The University of Michigan is well-grounded in the traditional strengths of the field, yet is a leader in defining the new directions our field is exploring. Our psychiatry education program is based on a diversity of viewpoint, experience, and expertise. We blend the insights and skills of dynamic psychotherapy with the diagnostic rigor of clinical research. We complement teaching in the basics of psychological theory with in-depth neurobiology and state-of-the-art psychopharmacology. Our traditional physician-patient roles are filled side-by-side with work in interdisciplinary treatment teams and primary care settings. We not only provide solid clinical training, but abundant opportunities for individual research. We lead residents in an exploration of psychiatry in all its depth and breadth.

The wide range of interests among the faculty is reflected in the department's many excellent clinical and research programs. Among these are programs in depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, geropsychiatry, women's health, psychodynamic psychotherapy, forensics, community mental health, neuropsychology, electroconvulsive therapy, managed care, and psychiatry in the primary care clinic. Residents have an opportunity to work in each of these settings, and may become involved in new or ongoing research projects.

An extensive series of lectures and discussions forms the didactic core of the residency. The curriculum begins with fundamentals of psychology, psychodynamics, and psychopharmacology, and builds to more advanced and integrated topics. In most instances, core lectures are coordinated with clinical experiences to ensure maximum benefit to the resident. Courses are designed to be rich in content, but also to encourage resident input and participation.

Clinical mentorships, including lectures, supervision, and clinical cases, are provided in psychodynamic, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral, dialectic/behavioral, and marital therapies. These intensive experiences ensure that every resident develop skill in each of these important areas.

We place a high value on education. We foster habits of self-motivated learning. We also teach residents how to teach. Residents have the opportunity to share their knowledge with medical students and trainees in other disciplines. There are numerous settings in which residents are able to serve as role models, lead discussions, demonstrate clinical skills, and give formal presentations.

For residents with interest in education as a career, the Clinical Scholars Track is a unique, innovative track that provides residents with the opportunity to work closely with dedicated teachers to develop their own interests and skills in preparation for an academic career focused on education. Residents are able to teach, to develop education programs, and to learn skills in evaluation of those programs.

For research-oriented residents, our Research Track is a distinguished five-year training program in which residents work closely with individual research mentors and a committee of experienced senior investigators to lay the groundwork for a successful career in basic and clinical psychiatric research.

The residency is rigorous and demanding, but also flexible, personal, and supportive. We do not try to fit residents into a single mold or course. Instead, we provide opportunities for individual development through a wide range of clinical service, didactic experience, research opportunities, and innovative training tracks. Faculty work closely with residents on the front lines of clinical care while helping residents develop their clinical skills, judgment, and independence. Residents also work closely with a series of individual mentors and supervisors, and these relationships often form the basis of ongoing collegial interactions long after formal training is complete. We seek to know each resident and tailor his or her experience to individual interests, needs, objectives, and potential. We also work hard to focus training on the current and future directions of the field, to assure that residents are well prepared to shape that future.

Although we recognize that there is no single pattern for a graduating psychiatrist, there are common elements that we seek to develop. We expect every resident to achieve clinical excellence and to provide the highest quality psychiatric care. We strive to maintain the highest level of ethical standards in all aspects of our work. We anticipate that residents will value continuing education and will establish a pattern of learning and growth. We encourage leadership in the profession. We enjoy excellent relations with other disciplines and encourage creative and innovative collaborations. We foster intellectual inquiry, curiosity, and a desire to extend our boundaries of knowledge.

Many residents elect to continue their education after residency and participate in one of the department's fine fellowship programs. Graduating residents are invited to consider programs in geropsychiatry, substance abuse, forensics, or child and adolescent psychiatry. Each of these programs provides unique opportunities for professional development.

We invite you to join us in this exciting endeavor. We look forward to working with you to create your own future and to shape that of our profession.


Michael Jibson, M.D., Ph.D.

Director of Residency Education

Associate Chair for Education and Academic Affairs