Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Community Psychiatry Track (CPT)


The Community Psychiatry Track provides specialized training for residents in their PGY3 and PGY4 years. Residents can apply as PGY2 residents to participate in the Community Psychiatry Track. The goal of the track is to develop future leaders of public psychiatry through positive, engaging, and inspiring clinical experiences. The community psychiatry track allows residents to develop a unique set of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will promote competency in providing physical and mental health care to a vulnerable, complex population of clients seeking services in Harris County. The track is especially meant for individuals who seek to learn about mental health equity and public psychiatry and who want to make meaningful contributions to the care of marginalized and underserved populations. All BCM residents rotate in community settings through the Harris Health System. The Community Psychiatry Track provides specialized clinical experiences at Harris County’s Local Mental Health Authority, the Harris Center for Mental Health, and IDD.

The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD is the largest LMHA in Texas, with a $300+M budget and approx. 2500 employees. The Harris Center provides an extensive set of clinical services to clients across a broad continuum of needs, including outpatient mental health, crisis intervention, and services that interface with the criminal justice system (jail diversion programs, among others). They serve approximately 69,000 unduplicated clients across our sites per year and take pride in delivering care to a diverse, underserved clientele with high complexity and high needs. The majority of patients in this system are uninsured and represent all age groups, affiliations, and races/ethnicities.

Track Elements

Specialized Clinical Training experiences in Community Psychiatry at the Harris Center 

PGY-3: Community Psychiatry Track resident(s) spend their PGY-3 clinical time at the Harris Center. They maintain half a day per week of longitudinal psychotherapy at the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic and attend didactics for the full day each Wednesday.  

Community Psychiatry longitudinal outpatient experience in PGY-3 

Child and Adolescent Community Psychiatry longitudinal outpatient experience in PGY-3 

PGY-4: Community Psychiatry Track resident(s) who do not fast-track to Child Psychiatry fellowship will complete at least three months of Community Psychiatry Electives. 

Elective options include: 

  • Harris Center Psychiatric Emergency Services 
  • Harris Center Crisis Stabilization Services 
  • Harris Center Residential units including the Jail Diversion Program 
  • Harris Center Mobile Crisis Outreach Team 
  • Community Partner homeless services 
  • Community Integrated Care 

Specialized Educational experiences for track residents 

Leadership in Public Psychiatry Seminar 

Community Psychiatry Track residents participate in monthly seminar sessions to learn about leadership in public psychiatry. The learning seminar focuses on topics related to public psychiatry, including care management of complex patients, legal issues, ethics/consent, quality improvement, clinical outcomes, equity, models of care, innovations in care delivery, quality tied to equity, and other topics.  

Roundtable with Harris Center Chief Medical Officer 

Community Psychiatry Track residents have the opportunity to meet with the Chief Medical Officer at The Harris Center as a group to discuss career development, leadership in public sector psychiatry, and systems change. The goal of the Roundtable is to allow residents to share their experiences and learn more about the context of care delivery within a large $300+M LMHA. Residents learn the inner workings of finances, politics, and structural barriers that impact care delivery and will also learn about methods and opportunities to transform care.  

Quality Improvement/Administrative Experiences: Interested residents will have the opportunity to work on a longitudinal administrative / quality improvement project throughout the PGY-3 year, for a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month period with the Chief Medical Officer. The goal of this experience is to offer exposure to administrative leadership and systems of care impacting services delivery, including value-based care, quality, service satisfaction, and cost. Residents are provided with opportunities for scholarly activities and committee participation that focuses on quality/safety knowledge.

Selection Process 

Applications for the Community Psychiatry Track are solicited in winter for interested PGY-2 residents. The availability of positions will be announced each year, typically 1-2 residents as of 2023. 


Community Psychiatry track residents will work closely with Harris Center community faculty and organizational leaders throughout their PGY-3 and PGY-4 year.  

Scholarly Work and Professional Development 

Community Psychiatry track residents are supported through coaching and mentorship to complete a scholarly project in an area of interest in community psychiatry. Track residents will be offered opportunities to engage with community service projects and Health Equity research projects with the Baylor College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry Vice Chair for Health Equity and Community Engagement. Track residents will be invited to provide education for resident seminars and for the broader community.