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Welcome to the Department of Psychiatry

RUMC offers one of the largest arrays of emergency, inpatient and ambulatory mental health and substance abuse programs in the state of New York. The Department of Psychiatry has an energetic and productive faculty who are devoted to our core missions of teaching, patient care and community service. We have a diverse faculty and a superb group of residents who participate in every aspect of the department. The variety of patients treated, from children in crisis to the chronically ill adult, offers an outstanding forum for residency training, and the continuum of care allows residents to follow patients through the various phases of illness.


The Department of Psychiatry plays a major leadership role in training medical students and residents. Our general Psychiatry Residency program, a continuously accredited operation since 1970, recruits academically strong, well-rounded trainees who go on to successful careers in a wide variety of psychiatry specialties. We believe our training programs are a major source of strength for our clinical programs and community service.

Patient Care 

Our patient care activities include state-of-the-art programs in acute services, psychopharmacology and diverse psychotherapy programs in child, adult and geriatric populations. 

Community Service 

Our faculty and residents serve the community through various clinical programs in multiple outpatient settings. The department makes significant contributions to the needs of the medically underserved and chronically mentally ill population.
Pankaj Patel, M.D., Chairman, Department of Psychiatry

Curriculum & Rotations


  • 6 months of inpatient psychiatry             
  • 4 months of inpatient medicine            
  • 2 months of neurology    

PGY2: Rotations are two months each on an average.            

  • Psychiatric ER day             
  • Psychiatric ER night             
  • Psychiatric ER 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Residents do not take any calls during Psychiatric ER day and night rotations
  • Inpatient psychiatry          
  • Consultation and liaison (C&L)              
  • Alcohol and chemical detox   

PGY3: There’s a 1-year outpatient clinic assignment.    

PGY4: 2 months of electives – geriatric, child and adolescent, C&L, inpatient psychiatry or alcohol and chemical detox. There are four weeks of vacation every academic year. PGY 1 and 2 residents have morning report every day where all cases seen during the night in Psychiatric ER are discussed with an attending. Dedicated Lecture Day: Residents are excused from clinical duties every Wednesday for a series of lectures throughout the year.

PGY1: Introduction to interview techniques and skills, psychopharmacology, clinical psychiatry (e.g., psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders and affective disorders), inpatient psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, crisis prevention and intervention, issues of American culture, confidentiality and ethics, forensic psychiatry, introduction to neurological disorders, neuropsychiatry, quality control, introduction to DSM IV TR case study, introduction to CBT and psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychological testing, journal club, case presentation.

PGY2: Interview techniques and skills, psychopharmacology, CBT and psychodynamic psychotherapy, geriatric psychiatry, emergency psychiatry, crisis prevention and intervention, consultation and liaison, introduction to substance abuse, community psychiatry and public psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, sleep disorders, neurological disorders, quality improvement, psychiatry and ethics, journal club, case presentation, orientation to outpatient psychiatry.

PGY3: Outpatient evaluation and management, advanced psychopharmacology, CBT, short-term psychotherapy and personality theories, family therapy, advanced interview and formulation, crisis prevention and intervention, forensic psychiatry, substance abuse in differential settings, ethics, neuroimaging, health care economics, child psychiatry, neuropsychiatry, quality improvement, journal club, case presentation.

PGY4: Eating disorders, advanced psychopharmacology, career planning, interpersonal psychotherapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy, psychiatry and medicine, private practices and issues, crisis prevention and intervention, advanced legal and ethical issues, epidemiology, health care delivery, forensic psychiatry, interviewing skills and mock oral boards, board review, neuropsychiatry, quality improvement, journal club, case presentation.

Residents in all years participate in the resident’s monthly meeting with the Program Director and Associate Program Director. In addition, residents’ also meet with the Chief and Co-Chief Resident every month to discuss issues related to their training. 

Educational Facilities

  • RUMC: Our Richmond University Campus is home to our administrative offices, a 30-bed inpatient Psychiatry Unit, and a five-bed Child/Adolescent Unit. This unit is attached to our main hospital, which has 470+ acute care beds and is a New York State-designated Stroke Center as well as a Level I Trauma Center.  
  • Bayley Seton Campus: As of 2009, it is primarily a psychiatric and social services outpatient hospital, operated jointly by Richmond University Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center. Bayley Seton is located on a 20-acre, 12-building site in the Clifton and Stapleton areas of the North Shore of the New York City Borough of Staten Island. It is home to a 25-bed inpatient psychiatric facility, our inpatient alcohol and chemical dependency units, our Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) and a multitude of outpatient services. We average over 110,000 visits to our outpatient clinics per year.  

Services Provided

General Psychiatry: Our inpatient units, composed of separate 30-bed and 25-five-bed facilities, evaluate and stabilize adult patients in an acute phase of a psychiatric illness through intensive short-term inpatient treatment.

Child & Adolescent Program: The program offers comprehensive assessment and treatment for ages 3 to 18. Disorders such as conduct disturbances, depression and psychosis are treated in a structured environment, with an emphasis on family participation in treatment. A school program, staffed by state-certified teachers working closely with the pupil’s home school district, is an important component of the program. In addition, through our affiliation with South Beach Psychiatric Center and the State of New York, our fourth-year residents do a Child Psychiatry rotation at South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island. Residents are exposed to both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings, as well as forensics.

Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program: The Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program provides comprehensive evaluation, treatment, crisis intervention and extended observation to those with mental illness and/or substance abuse. It is one of only six in New York State, and the only CPEP on Staten Island. In addition, the CPEP has as a Mobile Crisis Unit for crisis intervention and treatment.

Psychiatry Consultation Liaison (Psychosomatic Medicine): Our dedicated consultation liaison psychiatric attending, along with our psychiatric residents, provides a 24-hour, comprehensive psychiatric consult service for all medical and surgical patients located at the RUMC campus.

Evaluation & Referral Services: Everyone who comes to us for care receives a comprehensive evaluation, the first step in developing an individualized treatment plan, either by appointment or on a walk-in basis.

Inpatient Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Units: Serves individuals with a primary diagnosis of alcohol and/or chemical addiction who are in need of a medically managed inpatient program. This may include individuals with additional physical and/or psychiatric disorders. Treatment includes individual and group counseling, self-help groups, addiction education, acupuncture, aftercare planning and referrals.

Gambler’s Treatment Center: The Gambler’s Treatment Center offers gamblers, their families and other loved ones a comprehensive clinical program aimed at achieving abstinence from problem gambling and developing a better quality of life. Services include counseling, diagnostic and psychiatric services; vocational guidance; information and referral services; and education and training programs.

Continuing Day Treatment: We offer specialized services for persons dually diagnosed with mental illness and mental retardation and/or developmental disabilities. Our CDT programs consist of three different outpatient programs, with a varied patient population.

  • Our Seaview program, consisting of over 100 patients, provides group therapy primarily for the severely and persistently mentally ill. 
  • At Anna Erika, an adult home for the mentally ill, our staff provides on-site group therapy in English, Chinese or Korean to over 300 residents.  
  • Our MICA program at Bayley Seton provides services to those patients with a dual diagnosis of addiction and a comorbid axis I diagnosis that have been abstinent in the last seven months or are currently using drugs.  

The Silberstein Center: Offers outpatient chemical dependency services, including: intensive day groups, evening groups; ACOA groups; acupuncture; aftercare services; family issues groups; and DWI evaluations. We offer buprenorphine treatment where appropriate for adult’s ages 18 or older that are struggling with an addiction to heroin or other painkillers.

Geriatric Psychiatry: Through our affiliation with Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, our fourth-year residents do a Geriatric Psychiatry rotation at Methodist Hospital. 

Faculty Certified by Multiple Boards

Alex Mikhelson, M.D. (Psychiatry, Child & Adolescent, Geriatric)
Devdutt Nayak, M.D. (C&L, Geriatric, Addiction, Administrative Psychiatry)  

Faculty from Other Departments

Yelena Bataykin, M.D. (Pediatrics)
Suzy Bibawy, M.D (Internal Medicine, Addiction Medicine)
Susan Grossman, M.D. (Nephrology, Internal Medicine)
Cynthia Wong, M.D. (Internal Medicine)
Simhachalam Raguthu, M.D. (Neurology)
Allan Perel, M.D. (Neurology)

Contact Us   

Please direct your correspondence to:
Elizabeth Sansaricq, Psychiatry Residency Coordinator
Richmond University Medical Center
355 Bard Avenue, 1st Floor
Staten Island, NY 10310
Phone: 718-818-4121
Fax: 718-818-1067

How to Apply

We will be accepting applications through ERAS and/or paper/electronic applications. 
Requirements for our program are as follows:

  1. USMLE passed Step I, II, II (clinical skills) and strongly prefer candidates with Step III
  2. Valid ECFMG certificate
  3. Accredited medical school – no more than 10 years since date of graduation
  4. Citizen or permanent resident – we do not sponsor any type of visas
  5. Average score of 80 and above preferred
  6. If accepted, you are required to pass your Step III by Oct. 31 of your second year in order to be promoted to the PGY3 level  

Please forward a universal application. You may obtain an application at:

Also, please send copies of the following:  

  1. Medical school diploma with notarized translation, where appropriate
  2. Medical school transcript with a notarized English translation, where appropriate
  3. Curriculum vitae
  4. USMLE scores
  5. Two letters of reference from immediate supervisors in internship, residency program or medical school
  6. Reference letter from supervisor in current position, if presently employed
  7. Proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent immigrant status, if necessary
  8. Brief typewritten biological sketch
  9. Driver’s license and Social Security card
  10. Any other supporting documentation that may be beneficial, such as a membership to a local medical society

Our Education Policy Committee reviews all applications. Applicants selected for an interview will be called to schedule an appointment. Interviewing will begin in late October or early November. Please submit your application as soon as possible.

Syed Ali, M.D.Archna Sarwal, M.D.Paul O’Keefe, M.D.
Anna Aleyva, M.D.Aimee Reinglass, M.D.Matthew Majeske, M.D.
Javier Garcia, M.D.Initkhab Ahmad, M.D.Jephtha Tausig-Edwards, Ph.D.
Marlon Garcia, M.D.Eric D. Peselow, M.D.Sheldon Blackman, Ph.D.
Salim Hussain, M.D.Evaristo Akerele, M.D.Constance Salhany, Ph.D.
Joel Idowu, M.D.William Head, M.D.John Dalack, Ph.D.
Alex Mikhelson, M.D.Robert Freedland, M.D.Susan Eisner, MPH, CASAC
Devdutt Nayak, M.D.Rajesh Tampi, M.D.Martin Phillips
Narendra Patel, M.D.Christoph U. Correll, M.D.Deborah Aleman, QI Manager
Pankaj Patel, M.D.Scott McAfee, M.D.Elaine Edelman, LCSW
Olga Rakhlin, M.D.Reese Abright, M.D.Robert Curry, RN (Education)
Lucas Ralston, M.D.Spencer Eth, M.D.Orlando Garcia, M.D.
Santapuri Rao, M.D.David Cordon, M.D.