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!
Why Vanderbilt Is a Good Fit for Me.
Welcome! My name is Brent Necaise, and I am a PGY-4 and chief resident at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Psychiatry. During my 4 years here, it is continually evident that Diversity and Inclusion is not just a tagline, but very much a way of life for the institution. When applying to residency, 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 LGBTQ+ 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. In my time here, I have consistently supported and accepted fully for my authentic self. Institutionally, we have made significant progress in expanding our clinical offerings and educational experiences for all minorities, and I have been allowed to help create some of these offerings for our LGBTQ+ patients.
Diversity in Training.
The opportunities to get involved with diversity and inclusion work at Vanderbilt are everywhere and at every level. 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. I am very fortunate to be able to offer transgender supportive mental health care within our newly created transgender psychiatry clinic. Additionally, I am also able to serve the HIV+ populations with their unique mental health and psychopharmacological needs within my integrated mental health clinic within the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic. I am also fortunate to be accepts as a candidate for the medical center's inaugural class for a Certificate of LGBTQ+ Healthcare offered through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
I have loved living in Nashville and being part of the Vanderbilt family. Since arriving I have been welcomed with open arms with only positive experiences as one-half of 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.
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?
Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I am a fan of all things outdoors and didn’t really expect I’d get much of that in the south before I moved here. I was very happy to realize that Nashville is loaded with parks, greenways, mountain biking trails, gyms, golf courses, and just about anything one could ask for. And just outside the city are tons of hikes and waterfalls to check out. This is a huge draw for me that may very well keep me in Nashville for many years.
I am also a huge foodie like many of the residents here, and there are tons of amazing restaurants here in the city that I love (shout out to my two favorites Margot Café and Barcelona Wine Bar). Honestly, I eat at probably one new restaurant a week and I've barely scratched the surface of what's out there. Along the lines of food and drink, I am a huge fan of breweries and just in East Nashville there are literally dozens within a few miles of where I live (my personal favorites are Tailgate and Bearded Iris).
Many of my co-residents and I do a variety of things around town, from board game nights, to going out for drinks, to catching predators or sounds games, to having potlucks and movie nights. We also have a trivia crew that gets together every Tuesday night at a local brewery (and almost always win).
From a professional standpoint, I could go on about the incredible opportunities here in Nashville. The demand for psychiatry here is very high, and whether you want to work on an inpatient setting, set up your own private practice, or do more specialty work, you can most likely do it. It’s a great time to be a psychiatrist in Nashville.
Hey y'all! I'm Michelle, and I'm what we call a "Double 'Dore," someone who's stuck around Vanderbilt for both medical school and residency. As such, my love for Vandy is deep-rooted. Throughout my med school experience, I had the privilege to meet residents from nearly every department at the medical center. What stood out to me across the board was the emphasis on work-life balance, the genuine camaraderie among co-residents, and the fact that they were actually happy--something I'd heard to be a mere myth in residency. When I completed my AI at our psychiatric hospital, I saw how everyone here from interns, to program directors, to nurses, to pharmacy students all interacted in a way that promoted collaboration, kindness, humility, and fun. People enjoyed their work and working together. No one person was better than the next, and we all had something to learn from each other. When it came time to submit my ERAS, ranking Vanderbilt at the top was an obvious choice. Since my very first day, I've had no regrets, and in every day that has followed, my choice has been reaffirmed countless times. This program has a culture of respect, growth, and community of which I'm honored to be a part.
I'm originally from St. Louis, and after living in Nashville for 5+ years, I've realized that this city has everything I love about my hometown without any of the things I hate (ice storms). We have the big city benefits of diversity, great food, countless fun activities, live music everywhere, and a close airport for weekend getaways. At the same time, Nashville also retains its small-town feel with quirky neighborhoods, hole-in-the-wall spots where locals can become regulars, and several green spaces for hiking, running, or biking, both in the city itself and within a 2-3h drive.