University of Washington Boise Psychiatry Residency Program

Mission Statement

The UW Boise Psychiatry Residency Program strives to create a supportive, diverse, and inclusive training environment dedicated to the mission of preparing graduates to work as leaders and expert consultants in rural and underserved areas, improving mental health care in our state and the surrounding region.

To train psychiatrists to become outstanding clinicians

To help treat the underserved populations of Idaho

To teach psychiatrists to become expert consultants to other health care providers

To provide an environment where residents grow personally and professionally

Kirsten Aaland, MD

Clinical Associate Professor

Director’s Welcome

Welcome to the University of Washington Boise Psychiatry Residency Program! I am delighted that you are interested in our residency. In 2007, we started as a rural track in Idaho as a part of the University of Washington’s WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho) Program with the goal of bringing expertly trained psychiatrists to this state, reducing the mental health burden of Idahoans. Our track allowed residents to train as PGY1s and PGY2s in Seattle, Washington, and as PGY3s and PGY4s in Boise, Idaho. Over the past 13 years, we have grown an exceptional faculty and quality rotation experiences, leading to the development of a 4-year residency curriculum. We have gained initial ACGME accreditation for a full 4-year program in Idaho, and In July 2021 we will begin training our first PGY1 class. The incoming PGY1 class will benefit from working with the existing PGY3 and PGY4 residents who will be completing their training in the University of Washington Idaho Track.

Our mission is to train outstanding psychiatrists well-versed in the use of medications and psychotherapy to treat complicated psychiatric issues in both urban and rural populations. To maximize our psychiatrists’ reach, we focus on consultation and integrated care models, training our residents to expertly lead the mental health care team as well as advise primary care providers. We provide robust experiences in child and adolescent psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and telepsychiatry to prepare our graduates for the full scope of practice required in a rural setting. We aim to foster leadership opportunities in our medical systems and in local and state medical societies, promote interprofessional collaboration and scholarship, and create an educational climate that promotes the professional development of both faculty and trainees as life-long learners.

Our unique program structure allows us to achieve these goals. Training is completed in the intimate, community setting of Boise, Idaho, where we aim to provide an outstanding clinical education imbedded in unique settings offering care for underserved populations in our region. Residents work at the VA Hospital, Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s Community Hospitals, Idaho State Hospital South, Idaho State Correctional Institution, Boise State University, and the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. The varied clinical settings allow our residents to learn principles of psychiatry while also gaining an understanding of systems of care and the unique challenges of working as psychiatrists in an underserved state. Our faculty hold leadership positions in local and national professional societies and facilitate resident participation in meetings and committees. Additionally, with four residents in each class, there is ample opportunity to develop close, meaningful relationships with fellow trainees and faculty members, all while enjoying the richness of Boise and the natural beauty of Idaho.

One of our strongest assets is our dedicated faculty and their unwavering commitment to investing in their own and our residents’ ongoing growth and development. Additionally, we value our residents’ input and understand that they are the reason our program exists! Residents serve on multiple committees and are instrumental in the program’s continued growth and improvement. We are committed to providing a rich, nurturing learning environment where residents form strong mentorship relationships with faculty, hone their clinical skills, and develop well-formed professional identities.

Our mission is supported by key community stakeholders at the Idaho State Board of Education, the Boise VA Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Saint Alphonsus Medical Center as well as by faculty at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho, Boise State University, and private practices in the area. The Treasure Valley is one of the nation’s fastest growing communities, and our stakeholders are invested in supporting our program as we expand to meet the healthcare demands of our state.

Please review our website for further information on our program, including clinical sites, curriculum, faculty, current and past residents, and life in the charming capital city of Idaho. I am glad you are here and look forward to hearing from you! Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions about our program.


Kirsten Aaland, MD
Program Director
Clinical Associate Professor