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Physician Assistant Post-Graduate Residency in Mental Health (Psychiatry)

The New Mexico VA Health Care System, located in Albuquerque, is seeking two individuals for a 1-year paid Physician Assistant post-graduate residency in Psychiatry. Training will occur in both inpatient and outpatient settings and is tailored to allow graduates to sit for the Psychiatry CAQ. Graduates will be eligible for direct appointment to full time positions within the VA.

Physician Assistant Post-Graduate Residency in Mental Health (Psychiatry)

  • Would you like to further your education and get specialty training in Psychiatry?
  • Are you interested in serving our nation’s veterans in a culturally diverse teaching hospital?
  • Do you want to spend a year being paid to learn and qualify for a CAQ?
  • Be eligible for direct appointment to positions within the VA after graduation?
  • If so contact us to request an application!

About the program

The New Mexico VA Health Care is seeking two individuals for a 1 year paid Physician Assistant postgraduate
residency in Psychiatry. Training will occur in both inpatient and outpatient settings and is tailored to allow graduates to sit for the Psychiatry CAQ. Upon graduation residents will be eligible for direct appointment to full time positions within the VA. The program includes a wide variety of clinical and didactic experiences in Psychiatry. Residents meet regularly with faculty and the program strives to develop both a good knowledge base and strong clinical skills. Residents are trained in both supportive psychotherapy and motivational interviewing.

This one-year program runs from September to September and provides about 200 didactic and 2000 clinical hours of training in adult mental health disorders. PA Residents train together with physician and psychiatric nurse practitioner residents and attend many of the same didactic lectures and training with their MD Resident colleagues. Resident will need complete 75 hours of CME during the program to be eligible to sit for the CAQ, though this can be obtained through the VA.

About Albuquerque

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a city of 575,000 people that enjoys all four seasons and 310 days of sun per year. It is located adjacent to the Sandia Mountains, which provide excellent year round outdoor recreation activities. The city has over 200 parks and enjoys an vibrant local food scene. There is fascinating cultural diversity with influence of Native American and Hispanic culture.

New Mexico is the 47th state of the union and has a remarkable geographic range. The geography ranges from the sandy deserts of the south to the scenic foothills of the Rockies just below the Colorado state line and has served to inspire generations of artists. There is skiing, hiking and there are many National Parks to explore. New Mexico is home to a thriving scientific community and hosts two national labs and several research facilities. There are more PhDs per capita in New Mexico than any other state.


Admission Requirements

  • Be graduates of programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and certified by The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
  • Have a current, full, active, and unrestricted license to practice PA in a State, Territory of Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia.
  • Be citizens of the United States.
  • Have registered for the draft by age 26 (male applicants born after 12/31/1959) to be eligible for any US government employment, including selection as a paid VA trainee.
  • Document that vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccine, are up to date and that screening for active tuberculosis is complete prior to starting the residency
  • Have a command of the English language that is sufficient to facilitate accurate and unhampered communication with patients

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the NMVAHCS proposed MH-PA Residency Program to train caring and compassionate MH Physician Assistants who acquire the knowledge necessary to pass the Psychiatry CAQ, and the skills needed to practice the full spectrum of adult psychiatry with technical expertise; utilizing evidence based practice.

To accomplish our mission, we will provide instructive experiences in both episodic and longitudinal care of diverse patients, exposure to a wide variety of patient care environments, and close mentoring with both Residency Program staff and other specialty NMVAHCS staff. By familiarizing residents with the unique psychiatric needs and culture of Veterans, we hope to retain residents for full time work, thereby increasing access to care at the NMVAHCS.

Key Faculty

Jason Murray, PA-C MCMSc, CAQ-Psychiatry
Residency Program Director                                                                                                       

Leticia Cruz-Hinson, MD
Medical Director


It has come to our attention that New Mexico Medicaid currently limits reimbursement to PAs for Psychiatric services. We are aware of PAs who practice in Psychiatry in New Mexico but this may limit the availability of some civilian positions after graduation. This will not affect positions at the New Mexico VA Health Care System.

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.

Residents may be subject to random drug testing.

VA Drug-Free Workplace Program Guide