Resident life in Nashville can be quite thrilling! The breadth of experiences is vast and the culture of the city spans from the rich history of the South to modern urban living with an exciting mix of culinary tastes and musical richness, all topped off with an extra dose of southern comfort!
The Department of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt supports resident wellness and promotes class cohesiveness and successful integration into the residency program from day one. All our PGY-1s start on Psychiatry during their first month of training and have an opportunity to create close bonds with their classmates and a sense of community with the rest of the department right away. Our inpatient teams are arranged so that residents do not round on weekends, opening up a lot of extra time to enjoy the city and spend time with family and friends! Our yearly resident retreat is a highly anticipated event. This is also a great chance to hang out with our training directors outside the academic setting!
The Vanderbilt Housestaff Alliance is a very supportive organization for trainees and their families with great resources from everything about how to navigate around Nashville, where to live, get a haircut and beyond. For more specific information regarding these resources visit the Newcomers Guide
In regards to health and wellness the graduate medical education office takes good care of the trainees! There are several options for wellness and exercise within walking distance from VPH that include the Vanderbilt Dayani Center for Health and Wellness as well as the Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center. This is a state-of-the-art facility with 290,000 sf of indoor facilities and seven acres of outdoor facility space.
We also have sleeping and transportation options for Housestaff too fatigued to drive home safely including day-time/early evening transportation at no cost to the resident/fellow.
What Our Residents are Saying about Life in Nashville!
When I was making my rank list for the match, Vanderbilt stood out for many reasons. One of them was the people. It was clear to me that in addition to being intelligent, hard-working individuals, the residents really seemed to support each other and appeared to have cultivated meaningful relationships outside of the workplace. Now that I have been in residency here for a few years, that sense of support has remained readily apparent. And this doesn’t just apply to my co-residents; many of the attendings and faculty I have worked with have been incredible mentors with a genuine interest in my development as a capable and well-balanced psychiatrist.
Life in Nashville.
As someone who’s lived in Nashville since 2012 when I first arrived for medical school at Vanderbilt, let me be the first to tell you that this city is more than just hot chicken and country music. It’s a great place to expand your horizons when it comes to restaurants, music, and culture as a whole. From pupusas and Ethiopian food on Nolensville Pike to concerts like On the Run II to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, just about anyone can find something to do when they’re not at work. The city is always changing, and with that come some growing pains (looking at you, traffic!). But for me, the good far outweighs the frustrating.
Diversity in Training.
As a black woman, it is so encouraging to me to work among residents and faculty who value and embody diversity in many forms. The psychiatry residency program is one of several specialties that participates in a Second-Look Weekend for underrepresented minority applicants. During this weekend, applicants are able to meet others who are considering Vanderbilt, shadow current residents and faculty on rounds, see parts of Nashville during a tour, and hear from members of the Office for Diversity during a banquet and other activities. Members of the Minority Housestaff for Academic and Medical Advancement (MHAMA) are present during the weekend to show applicants around and answer any questions they might have. Upon matching at Vanderbilt, residents are able to join MHAMA and have access to a supportive community that organizes seminars on financial planning and other topics, as well as social events. In the psychiatry residency itself, we are not only paired with a faculty supervisor each year, but we also have access to many others who are willing to share their experiences and advice.
What’s Nashville like for us.
Diverse and with a great variety of things to do on the weekend. One of the first things my husband and I noticed after moving here was how genuinely nice people were, which is how we still feel to this day. I love that we have the option of spending our free time in vastly different areas of town, all of which are unique and provide plenty of things to keep us interested.
I was definitely struck by how genuinely invested the program was in its residents, and felt during my visit as though there was genuine interest in both identifying and celebrating the unique qualities of each person. I was also very much intrigued by the strong sense of community present not only within the psychiatry department, but amongst the other medical specialities as a whole.
The Culture of Vanderbilt.
The first word that comes to mind is definitely supportive. Since I’ve begun residency, I’ve been able to work with a wide variety of people of different backgrounds and medical specialities. There have been countless instances where I’ve had to work collaboratively with others and in a way that not only optimizes patient care, but fosters my own personal knowledge and growth.
My experience at Vanderbilt.
“Howdy! My name is Devin Greene and I'm currently completing a residency in Psychiatry. I grew up in the great state of Texas, but have made my way to Nashville by way of Houston, along with my husband. Though we miss our home state, we have enjoyed living and exploring Nashville! Nashville is a great mix of both big and small, where it has the charm of a small city, but has a big city feel as there are plentiful things to do here - lots of good food, shows, historic sites, and state parks. Nashville is also nearby several other cities that are several hours away that make for great day or weekend trips. I chose Vanderbilt because I felt a resounding sense of acceptance, support, and sincerity in the people that I met on the day of my interview and this has continued to be a sentiment I carry as I continue through my training. Our attendings are easy to engage, easily accessible, love to teach, and are truly invested in our success.”
What’s life in Nashville like?
If you’re a foodie, Nashville’s the place for you! I’ve been here for almost 1.5 years now, and my list of restaurants just keeps getting longer and longer. I didn’t appreciate the beauty of brunch until moving here, and with places like Monell’s, Biscuit Love, and Pancake Pantry, how could you not love brunch? I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the vegetarian and vegan options, and the variety of ethnic cuisine available. I’m from Miami so I was very happy to discover the Hispanic market and range of international grocery stores on Nolensville Pike.
It seems like there’s always something going on in Nashville, whether you’re a fan of music (and not just country!), theater, art, or outdoor parks. Live on the Green and Shakespeare in the Park happen every fall, and places like Centennial Park, Arrington Vineyards, and Cummins Falls are beautiful to explore. Nashville is broken down into neighborhoods, and each neighborhood has a different vibe. I live in an area called Germantown - a place where I know more dog names than residents’! Germantown is a walkable community with many restaurants (with great happy hours) and local stores. My wife, husky, and I enjoy our strolls through the Farmers’ Market to the Capitol.
Why did I choose Vanderbilt?
Vanderbilt was my top choice and I was ecstatic when I found out I matched here. I chose Vanderbilt not only for its stellar reputation and numerous strengths, but the amazing people I met and how welcomed I felt during my interview day. The residents looked (and still look!) happy, and the faculty are brilliant yet so nice and approachable. I’m about a third through my PGY-2 year and I couldn’t be happier or feel more privileged to be at a program like ours.
I’m interested in many different things, so what I love about Vanderbilt is the resources we have access to and the opportunities to which we are exposed. I’m well supported in all my research and scholarly pursuits, and have been to national meetings and conferences as a PGY-1. This year, I’ll be working with the NNCI to produce neuroscience teaching material and attended an outstanding health care systems seminar at Vanderbilt’s business school. I’m stimulated intellectually every day and am in an environment that promotes both personal and academic growth.
Why Vanderbilt Is a Good Fit for Me.
Hi, my name is Brent Necaise, and I am a PGY-1 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Wanting to match at Vanderbilt for my psychiatry residency was an easy choice. During my residency interview, it was evident that Diversity and Inclusion is not just a tagline, but very much a way of life for the institution. Having served as president of the Gay-Straight Alliance and working closely with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at my medical school, I was specifically looking for a program that values diversity not just in sexual orientation and gender identity, but also all the other wonderful ways that make us each a unique individual. I wanted a program that proactively addressed healthcare disparities, especially the specific healthcare needs of LGBTQI patients. I wanted a place that did not just place acceptance and inclusivity as an ideal, but also where I would never hesitate about self-disclosing about my own life with any colleague and faculty member.
Diversity in Training.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Psychiatry Residency Program has proven to be that and more. The opportunities to get involved with diversity and inclusion work are everywhere and at every level. At Vanderbilt, we genuinely strive to better outcomes for our patients, faculty, staff, residents, and community by celebrating our differences. I am especially excited about the Vanderbilt LGBTQI Healthcare Clinic that opened in August 2018 to address the healthcare concerns of this often underserved patient population as well as providing training opportunities to work with this specific population.
My partner and I have loved living in Nashville and being part of the Vanderbilt family. Since arriving we have been welcomed with open arms with only positive experiences as a same-sex couple at both Vanderbilt or Nashville-at-large. I am reminded every day that the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Residency Program was the right program for me.