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Please read this in detail prior to applying! It likely contains the answers to your questions.

Who are you?

We are a small (4 residents per year), community-based and community-focused recently ACGME accredited psychiatry residency in Ventura County, California. Our faculty is a group with diverse professional interests who share a passion for teaching.

Our goal is to provide our residents with the requisite skills, knowledge, education, and experience to become outstanding community psychiatrists. We aim to educate the next generation of psychiatrists to practice locally and be leaders in enhancing psychiatric services at all levels throughout Ventura County. While we are solidly based in neurobiology, we believe that residency training must encompass the medical, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of human functioning. We pay particular attention to the history of psychiatry and the effects of social determinants of health, stigma, and discrimination on mental health and its treatment. Because of the needs of our community, particular emphasis will be given to training in consultation/liaison psychiatry.

We believe that resident physicians benefit greatly from close faculty supervision. While residents will act as the primary physicians for their patients, our excellent faculty will provide extensive mentorship. Socratic questions such as “How can we improve on your plan?” are common.

Who sponsors the program and what are the participating sites?

Community Memorial Healthcare is the program’s sponsoring institution. Community Memorial faculty provide resident training in collaboration with faculty at Ventura County Medical Center and Ventura County Behavioral Health. We also partner with other local institutions to complement our educational experiences, including California State University Channel Islands, the Veterans Administration Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Community Memorial Hospital of Ventura is a state-of-the art, 250-bed non-profit medical center. Community Memorial sponsors 4 other residency programs (Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, and Orthopaedic Surgery)and hosts 6 residency clinics. The Family Medicine Health Center supports an Integrated Behavioral Health Training Program for post-graduate psychology trainees. Psychiatry training takes place at Community Memorial’s outpatient Health Centers.

Our PGY1 residents have required rotations in inpatient medicine and primary care. As PGY3s, during their outpatient year, residents spend much of their time in the clinic, seeing patients mainly affected by mild to moderate mental disorders, often with concomitant substance use disorders and physical health problems. Psychotherapy specialty clinics also take place at Community Memorial health centers.

Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) is a comprehensive system of hospital, clinic, and specialty services. VCMC provides access to health care for all residents of Ventura County, with special emphasis on providing care to those facing barriers to access. VCMC is the designated Level II Trauma Center for West Ventura County. At VCMC, residents rotate and take call on the Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, a locked adult acute unit, the Crisis Stabilization Unit, an acute emergency psychiatry service, and the Consultation/Liaison Service, providing psychiatric care for medical and surgical inpatients.

Ventura County Behavioral Health (VCBH) is the county-owned and operated public mental health system for Ventura County. Its providers treat both minors and adults in outpatient clinics throughout the county. Residents rotate through the system for Child and Adolescent experiences and the Ventura Adult Clinic – the other major teaching site for outpatient psychiatric care.

Community Memorial Hospital – Ventura and Ventura County Medical Center are a five-minute walk apart. The other sites are a short drive from either location. Some elective rotations may require longer drives to more distant sites.

What is the rotation schedule?

Please visit this page to review the rotation schedule.

What do your didactics look like?

For more information about didactics for this program, please visit out conferences page.

Do you have call?

At Community Memorial, we believe that taking call is a critical part of the development of a psychiatrist. Residents have overnight in-house call, which is scheduled approximately every 12 days on psychiatry (emergency at home back-up call about every 6 days). PGY1 residents on psychiatry are supervised in-person while on call. Other services have their own call schedules and responsibilities.

What are the employment benefits?

Please visit our Compensation and Benefits page for more information.

Do you permit moonlighting?

Moonlighting is permitted only after being licensed independently as PGY3s, with program director approval, and exclusively in-house. Moonlighting residents also need to obtain medical staff membership. Strict ACGME hour limitations apply.

I understand that housing costs in Coastal Southern California are high. What kind of housing arrangements do your residents make?

Housing prices vary by location, square footage, and amenities. It is more affordable if you have roommates to share the cost of rent and find housing through independent owners rather than large apartment complexes. A rough estimate of rental costs is anywhere from $1600-$2500+ for a single room and significantly more for a three bedroom house, not including additional costs such as utilities. Actual costs depend where you choose to live and what is important to you in a home.

Many residents with families rent apartments. Many residents co-lease together and a others rent rooms. Physicians and members of the community send us rental listings, which we provide to our residents. We also help put incoming interns in touch with each other and 3rd year medical students to give them ample opportunity to find roommates.

Due to Southern California traffic conditions, we require our residents to live within a roughly 20 mile radius of our hospital in Ventura. The mileage shown on maps to cities in adjoining counties is extremely deceptive and is not indicative of the actual time in traffic, and long commutes can pose a barrier to success in our program.

Who might be a good match for this residency?

Residents who desire to learn all aspects of community psychiatry, in addition to general psychiatry, thrive in our program. In addition, flexibility and the drive of a pioneer are equally important, because this program is a developing one. While we do everything in our power to realize our stated goals and objectives, we also work collaboratively to find solutions for inevitable “bumps in the road.” This flexibility, however, can be a strength of our program, in that our residents may earn leadership responsibilities early, thereby contributing to the burgeoning culture of the program. Finally, because of our focus on consultation/liaison psychiatry as an important aspect of community psychiatry, we prefer candidates who have a strong background in medicine.

For whom might this residency be a poor match?

  • Individuals looking for a program with limited time commitment are not a good match for our program. We believe that rigorous training, which includes considerable patient contact, close supervision, and scheduled on-call experience, is integral to the development of a good psychiatrist. The unique responsibilities and opportunities inherent in the demands of a newer residency program require a highly motivated and flexible individual.
  • Individuals looking for a residency program offering a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “Fast Track” will not find what they are looking for in our program. Please see below.
  • Individuals looking for a research-oriented academic residency may not be a good fit for our program. While we are confident in our abilities as clinicians and teachers and have excellent support for clinical research, we are not presently strongly affiliated with a medical school.
  • Individuals looking for training in psychoanalysis should consider other programs. While we will provide very solid training in a number of forms of psychotherapy, including psychodynamic therapy, Ventura County currently offers no opportunities for psychoanalytic training. Such training would need to be initiated after completion of the psychiatric residency.

I might be interested in a Child & Adolescent (C&A) Fellowship. May I leave after I finish PGY3?

Unfortunately, we are presently unable to offer a Child & Adolescent Fast Track. The expectation is that all participants complete four years of our general residency.

For all residents, a month of pediatrics is available as an elective in PGY1, and a ½ day of elective time during PGY3 can be further devoted to C&A studies.

Will you consider PGY2, PGY3 or PGY4 transfers?

Presently, we will not consider unsolicited applications.

What are the formal application requirements?

Community Memorial considers all qualified applicants. We require demonstrated experience and interest in Psychiatry in order to be considered for interviews. Community Memorial does not sponsor visas, including ECFMG J-1 visas.

Applicant must be eligible for, and must have, a formal California Postgraduate Training License (PTL) prior to starting residency. Please inquire at the respective California Medical Board or Osteopathic Medical Board for details.

What are your minimum USMLE/COMLEX cut off scores?

We require minimum USMLE Step scores of 220, or 530 on the COMLEX.

Do you accept applicants with multiple attempts on USMLE/COMLEX?

At the present time, we do not accept applicants with multiple attempts on the USMLE/COMPLEX.

Do you have a medical school graduation date/year cut off?

We require medical school graduation within the last four years and demonstration of clinical competence.

Further, we very rarely consider physicians that have already started an ACGME accredited residency program elsewhere and only under exceptional circumstances.

What is the application process?

Please apply through ERAS.

Applicants who meet initial screening requirements will be asked to provide further information electronically through a secondary screening survey. Those selected will be invited for an in person interview. Candidates will have the opportunity for several interviews with faculty and a chance to meet our residents.

We plan to interview 40-50 applicants for our 4 positions.

We welcome your application and the chance to discuss the opportunity to join us in continuing to build this vital community psychiatry program for Ventura County.

I have further questions that you have not answered here. Whom may I contact?

Makayla Endo
Psychiatry Program Coordinator or