The Carl R. Darnall AMC Psychiatry Residency Program

Welcome to Fort Cavazos and Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, and thank you for your interest in our joint U.S. Army and Air Force Psychiatry Residency. Our program is centered at Fort Cavazos, TX, on one of the largest military bases in the world. We support these military members, their families, and all retirees who need psychiatry care. As a joint program our motto is “Operationally Focused, Family Friendly”.

Rotation & Interview Requests

Clinical rotations are open to fourth year medical students at any time during the year. If interested in setting up a rotation, or requesting an interview time, please call: 915-760-3647.

Operationally Focused

Fort Cavazos, TX was established in 1942 as a primary training site for armored warfare and mechanized infantry. Initially created as a testing and training center to combat the armored warfare tactics of the German army during WWII, it retains its historic focus as a home to units focused on tank warfare, mobile artillery, mechanized infantry, and anti-aircraft missions. As of last census count, Fort Cavazos has a total population of over 50,000 and is one of the largest military installations in the United States in terms of work force and land area. It remains home to 1st Calvary Division, as well as the governing body of III Corps of the US Army. Please be aware, while on post you will hear gunnery from the ranges (large booms, or machine gun like sounds).
Carl R Darnall Army Medical Center is the on post hospital to Fort Cavazos and all the personnel assigned here. This facility is named after Brigadier General Carl Rogers Darnall (1865-1941), a US Army chemist and surgeon who saw action in the Philippines, during the Boxer rebellion in China, and during WWI. In 1902, while stationed in Washington, D.C., and serving as faculty at the Army Medical School, he was credited with originating the technique of liquid chlorination of drinking water to protect soldiers. The impact of his research has rippled throughout the world and is one of the more important public health innovations. The center courtyard of the hospital is a tribute to his work, which has saved countless lives.

This site was chosen as a Psychiatry Residency location for multiple reasons. The first is that Fort Cavazos offers a robust, deployment focused military population that enables our future residents the opportunity to work with – a population they will be supporting long term through their tour of duty. Operating successfully as a military psychiatrist means understanding the culture, the regulations, and most importantly how to practice medicine and manage psychiatric or neurologic emergencies in very austere environments immediately after residency – something that we have found civilian residency graduates are not ready for. As such our program specifically focuses on areas that enhance learning to support those areas, along with specialty rotations in Sleep Medicine, Pain Management, Inpatient Neurology (stroke and trauma), military specific community clinics, and a heavy focus on collaborative consultation psychiatry to both inpatient and outpatient settings. Fort Hood also has robust support to the forensic psychiatry mission, including specialty evaluations, court ordered examinations, and training in expert consultation and expert witness duties to the judicial system – experiences that might otherwise only be available in a fellowship. Call duties experienced and developed like any other skill, that is, as you would do it as an attending physician. We take at home call (phone, with computer) for nights and rotate through a roster, and rotate through coming in to the ward on weekends / holidays to perform needed patient care. There will not be overnight call in house as an attending psychiatrist, and as such, we do not feel the need to implement overnight call in house for any trainee. (You gain an abundance of emergency psychiatry experience while rotating on Consult Liaison).

Family Friendly

This is significant in a number of ways – firstly that we as a program (students, residents, and faculty) are a family and we support each other’s wellness, life goals, and learning goals. Secondly, that we as a program support you growing and developing your own family, and as much as you & they desire, bring them into our peer group. Thirdly, that we as a program support the families of our troops, and provide them the best care possible so that they and their families are emotionally strong and healthy in order to weather military life. We operate on a liberal leave policy, and support our residents taking the maximum yearly amount allowed by DHA policy in all year groups.

In order to support a people first family focus, we teach military and medical leadership that emphasizes people, not metrics. Our climate and culture is one of open acceptance and support, friendly and fun interaction both in the workplace and outside of it, and one that fosters a desire for not just personal but family, peer oriented growth and development. We actively seek applicants who will add to and support this culture. We involve all residents in program and residency improvement, seek hard or difficult feedback about or program from students, residents, and faculty and strive for transparency in all decisions.

Our facility also has large Emergency Medicine and Family Practice residencies – two specialties we often interact closely with professionally, as well as PA and Nurse Practitioner training, and an internship for licensed clinical social workers. You will complete intern medical rotations with family practice and emergency medicine, with the benefits of learning directly from their residents and faculty. The local VA system of care (Waco, and Temple, TX) and the existing Baylor Scott and White psychiatry in Temple, TX are close by, offer additional community and hospital VA and civilian rotation support, and are very open to collaboration and cooperative support of training.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Exposure to different perspectives in an environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive enhances learning and development of culturally adept psychiatrists, physician-advocates, and military leaders. Our Psychiatry Residency is committed to a professional, civil, and nondiscriminatory environment where students, residents, faculty, and staff of all ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, religions, socioeconomic backgrounds, and life experiences feel valued and respected.
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