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Physician Assistant Post-graduate Residency in Mental Health

For Physician Assistants who demonstrate clinical expertise in mental health care, high ethical behavior, strong leadership skills, cultural awareness, unsurpassed professionalism and a commitment to lifelong learning, who are prepared to care for the mental health needs of veterans and the general community.


During the year-long residency, PA residents should expect training in a dynamic clinical and academic environment, exposing the residents to basic and advanced psychiatric concepts and techniques through participation in Baylor College of Medicine’s (BCM) psychiatric lecture series and MEDVAMC’s clinical sites. Training is provided in outpatient clinics, hospital inpatient units, and in psychiatric specialty clinics. Under the mentorship of our outstanding MEDVAMC and BCM faculty, the resident gains the confidence and experience necessary to practice in a wide range of clinical settings.


The overriding goal of the program is to provide additional mental health/psychiatric education well-beyond that received during PA school. By completion of the residency, PA residents will exhibit competency in the following six areas: Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism and Systems-Based Practice through increased mastery of knowledge, skills and attitudes required to function as a MH provider within the VA and other psychiatric settings.


  • Vacation time, sick leave
  • Eligible for health insurance
  • Liability coverage
  • Potential for Education Debt Reduction Program if hired by VA *Determined by hiring location and position.


*If accepted, students must graduate and receive board certification before beginning residency.

Health Professions Trainees (HPTs) are appointed as temporary employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs. As such, HPTs are subject to laws, policies, and guidelines posted for VA staff members. There are infrequent times in which this guidance can change during a training year which may create new requirements or responsibilities for HPTs.  If employment requirements change during the course of a training year, HPTs will be notified of the change and impact as soon as possible and options provided. The VA Training Director for your profession will provide you with the information you need to understand the requirement and reasons for the requirement in timely manner.

Educational Components

  • PA Residency didactic lecture series
  • Service-based specialty lecture content
  • Grand Rounds
  • Conferences
  • Faculty mentorship and supervision in clinical training
  • Required self-directed psychiatry CME

Residents complete clinical rotations with mental health inpatient, outpatient, and specialty clinics. Including:

  • General Mental Health Clinic
  • Inpatient Mental Health Wards
  • Substance Dependence Treatment Program
  • Geriatric Psychiatry or Women’s Mental Health
  • Emergency Department Psychiatry
  • Mental Health Consult Liaison Service
  • Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Mental Health

Additional Focus Areas

  • Sleep Medicine
  • Primary Care Mental Health
  • ECT/TMS programs
  • Post-Deployment Mental Health
  • Mental Health Research
  • Team-based, interdisciplinary care
  • Mental Health Teaching/Academic Medicine

Admission Requirements

Qualified applicants must have each of the following by the time of application:

  • Graduation or anticipated graduation from an ARC-PA accredited PA Program
  • Certification by NCCPA or eligible to sit for exam
  • US citizenship

Required documents include: transcripts from PA program and any graduate-level programs, documentation of NCCPA certification or eligibility, two letters of recommendation, personal essay. Competitive applicants will be interviewed.

Points of Contact

Applications are being accepted. For questions, please contact:

Michael A. Davis, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ - Psychiatry
Physician Assistant Residency in Mental Health/Psychiatry
Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center
2002 Holcombe Blvd., MHCL-116
Houston, TX  77030

Key Faculty

  • Michael A. Davis, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psychiatry, Residency Training Director
  • Dr. Aaron Short, MD, Residency Medical Director
  • Carl Fasser, PA, Baylor College of Medicine PA Program, Academic Advisor 

Reference documents