Photo of Dr. Unutzer and Dr. Cowley
About Us: Introduction

Welcome to the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences!  We are delighted that you are interested in our residency program.

This is an exciting time to be entering psychiatry!  With ongoing discoveries in basic neuroscience, we increasingly understand the underlying mechanisms of our disorders.  We have a wealth of effective treatments to offer our patients.  Our department is actively involved in the creation of new knowledge and the development and application of psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and other psychosocial and biological treatments.  In addition, we recognize that one of our greatest challenges as a field is the dissemination of effective treatments to those who need them, including the chronically and seriously mentally ill, urban and rural underserved and disadvantaged populations, and the vast majority of patients with psychiatric disorders who seek care in primary care rather than psychiatric treatment settings.  We believe that psychiatrists are physicians who, as experts in brain and behavior, have a responsibility to advance the quality of psychiatric care and to reduce stigma associated with mental illness, not only through specialty practice, but also through consultation to other physicians and health care providers.  Our department is extensively engaged in enhancing psychiatric care within mental health and primary care settings in our region, nationally, and internationally.

Fundamentally, our residency program aims to help every graduate become the best possible psychiatrist.  We offer a rich array of clinical, didactic, and research experiences, with particular strengths and fellowship opportunities in addictions, child and adolescent psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, geriatric psychiatry, neuroscience and genetics, and health services research.  We provide multiple opportunities to work with clinically diverse populations, and aim to inspire residents to make a difference by working with those most in need.

We hope that you will visit us and that we will have the opportunity to introduce you to our residents, faculty, and the residency program!

Jurgen Unutzer, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.
Chair, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Thank you for your interest in our residency program!

Our major goal is to provide an outstanding, balanced education in psychiatry. We aim to teach our residents biological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of our field, and to provide training in both biological and psychotherapeutic treatment modalities. In addition, we strive for an integrated approach, emphasizing the “science” of psychiatry (i.e. the acquisition of essential knowledge and techniques), the “art” of empathic understanding of patients, and the development of each resident as an ethical, thoughtful, and professional psychiatrist.

We are pleased to have an outstanding group of residents and faculty. Because of the diverse interests of our faculty and the many areas of strength within the department, we are interested in and attract residents with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests within psychiatry.  The program and the department particularly emphasize care of the underserved and disadvantaged; consultation to primary care and other health providers; psychiatric subspecialties such as addictions, child and adolescent, geriatric psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine; and opportunities for residents to develop careers in research, teaching, and clinical care throughout our region.  For those interested in practice in smaller communities or rural settings, we have an Idaho regional track, which has received recognition from the ACGME as a notable practice in residency training. 

We strive to provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment, in which residents can tailor their experience to explore their individual interests. The Department is relaxed and friendly, while also being committed to excellence in patient care, teaching, and research. Residents are actively involved in residency governance and we take their input very seriously in constantly improving the program.  Our program is fully accredited by the ACGME as both a four-year program, and for three years of training for those residents entering at the PGY-2 level after completing an internship elsewhere. 

This website is intended to give you a brief overview of the program, including the clinical sites, curriculum, special opportunities, the resident group, and living in the Northwest. If you have further questions, please feel free to call or e-mail me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Deborah S. Cowley, M.D.
Professor and Vice Chair for Education
Director, Psychiatry Residency Program



Box 356560   |   1959 NE Pacific St.   |   Seattle, WA 98195-6560   |   206.543.6577   |