Special Programs

Our philosophy is that residency training should help every resident develop his/her unique interests and special skills. To this end, the Residency Training Director, faculty members, and mentors in the Clinical Scholars Institute meet with residents throughout training to deepen intellectual and clinical interests, offer mentorship, and develop individual projects. In addition to this, we are pleased to offer the following special opportunities to selected residents.

The Benjamin Rush Scholar in the History of Psychiatry

Under the direction of George Makari, M.D., and Nirav Soni, Ph.D., the Weill Cornell Department of Psychiatry offers the Benjamin Rush scholarship to a highly qualified and motivated incoming psychiatry resident who foresees a career in scholarship or mental health policy.

In addition to required clinical training, the Rush Scholar completes a parallel track of study conferring expertise in the history of psychiatry, neuroscience and the behavioral sciences. The Rush Scholar commences these studies at the beginning of the PGY-II year, with "Oxford" style tutorials and readings. Topics covered include the history of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment, psychiatric professionalization and institutionalization, psychiatry and the law, ethics, the emergence of psychoanalysis and neuroscience, and psychiatry in culture and society. Readings of critical primary and secondary sources will be supplemented by discussions with selected nationally renowned mentors, as well as participation in the working groups of the Department's DeWitt Wallace Institute of Psychiatry: History, Policy, & the Arts

Midway through the third year of residency, the Rush Scholar chooses his/her own course of independent study in a branch of history or mental health policy and is assigned a mentor to facilitate and guide their research. The expectation is that the Rush Scholar will complete a publishable paper in this selected area by the end of residency. The Rush scholarship includes an annual expense account for books, travel, and research activities.

Benjamin Rush Scholarship Directors

George J. Makari, M.D. 

Nirav Soni Ph.D.


DeWitt Wallace Research Scholar Program

The Department offers the Dewitt Wallace Research Scholar program to selected residents who intend to pursue a research career after graduation from residency. Typically, residents chosen for the research track express their interest during the application process. Upon acceptance into the program, residents will be given protected research elective time allowing for an in-depth research training experience under the mentorship of a senior investigator. The Resident Research Committee closely monitors the resident’s progress on the research track.

The research track may begin as early as the PGY-I year, with clinical requirements adjusted in a manner to allow some time to pursue research, while maintaining rigorous clinical training and the fulfillment of board eligibility requirements. Curriculum in the research track includes project development and implementation, plus counseling about a research career. Mentorship and support are provided for application to research fellowships, whether in the Weill Cornell Department of Psychiatry or in other programs.

Applicants with a special interest in research are encouraged to make their interest known when applying to the program so that we can arrange for interviews and meetings with appropriate Departmental investigators. Our aim is to insure that each applicant learns as much as possible about the research opportunities available at Cornell. Meetings with Cornell investigators can also be arranged outside of the regular interview day.

Research Program Leadership

Francis Lee, M.D., Ph.D.