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Psychiatry Residency

The Psychiatry Residency Program at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital & St. Mary's General Hospital

Fully Accredited by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education

1. Mission and Aims

The mission of our community based psychiatry residency program is to provide exceptional resident training using a robust array of mental health clinical experiences combined with a comprehensive didactic curriculum. We are committed to prepare residents to succeed at the forefront of the evolving role of Psychiatry in the delivery of health care for the diverse patient populations that we serve. In accordance with Prime Health Care, we share a commitment to train residents to become psychiatrists that deliver compassionate, quality care to patients and better mental healthcare services to our communities.

Our psychiatry residency program aims to train psychiatrists to function as exemplary clinicians, capable teachers, and knowledgeable managers of health care resources. Our fundamental educational objective is for our graduates to become competent and ethical professionals possessing sound clinical judgment, requisite skills, and a high order of knowledge about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of all psychiatric disorders, as well as the medical and neurological illnesses that relate to the practice of psychiatry.

Our psychiatry residents are expected to provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for both the treatment of health problems and the promotion of health. Upon completion of training, our residents are expected to have consistently demonstrated sufficient competence in rendering effective professional care to psychiatric patients without direct supervision. Through clinical and educational experiences, the residency training program is to provide a solid educational background to adequately prepare residents for the certification examination in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Our graduates are also expected to have a keen awareness of their own strengths and limitations and recognize the necessity for a commitment to lifelong self-evaluation, practice based learning, and professional development.

2. Program Director’s Welcome

​It is an honor to have an opportunity to be the program director for the Prime Health Saint Clare’s Hospital Psychiatry Residency. I welcome you and thank you for your interest in the Program. We are a newly ACGME accredited program, we currently have our PGY-1 and PGY-2 class filled. We ​are looking for highly talented and motivated individuals like your self who have a true heart and interest for Psychiatry. Being a new program, we have a tremendous opportunity to tweak the structure of the program based on feedback both from faculty members and as well as residents. Our faculty participates in monthly faculty development meetings where we explore new and innovative ideas to educate and train our residents.

Dr. Singh is a Board-Certified psychiatrist in both Adult Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He currently is the Corporate Medical Director Psychiatric Services & Programs for New Jersey Prime Healthcare Hospitals. After completion of his training at Columbia University Medical Center, he joined the faculty at the university and served as a faculty member for 12 years. During his tenure at Columbia University he served at various leadership positions and was a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions. He joined Saint Clare’s in November 2014 and since then has been key in not only bringing in innovative ideas but also has been instrumental in spearheading numerous projects with the goal of bringing in state of the art evidence-based treatments to the community. Dr. Singh specializes in the psychopharmacological management of psychiatric disorders with expertise in medication management of psychiatric disorder, notably Depressions and other mood disorders.

Associate Program Directors

​​Domenick Sportelli, DO - Welcome to the Prime Health Psychiatry training program. I am honored to have the opportunity to be Associate Program Director at Prime Health. It is my goal to help cultivate an outstanding ACGME accredited psychiatric training program through substantial clinical experience, passionate teaching & didactics, hospital & community behavioral health research and most importantly fostering the growth and education of the next generation of board certified psychiatrists.

Dr. Domenick J. Sportelli is Board Certified in both Adult General Psychiatry as well as Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. He began his journey with a Bachelors degree in Biology as well as a Masters of Science degree in Biology from Montclair State University. After receiving his Undergraduate degree and Graduate degree with Honors from MSU, he knew that he wanted to pursue a medical education as he was incredibly drawn to understanding the functioning of the human body and mind.

Upon graduation from NYIT School of Osteopathic Medicine, and graduating with Honors in clinical science, Dr. Sportelli pursued an internship year in General Family Medicine, which allowed him to explore various areas of medicine including Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Gynecology, Emergency Medicine as well as caring for individuals on the general medical floors and intensive care units. After Dr. Sportelli successfully completed this ACGME intern year, he felt a true calling to master the intricacies of the human mind, behavior, understanding the complexity of mental illness and its modern life-changing treatment options. He then began his four-year Residency Training in General Psychiatry and fellowship in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Dr. Sportelli continues to maintain a passion for medical education on the Consultation Liaison Service, has established the ECT service at Prime Health, is heavily involved in the our Psychiatric Grand Rounds program as well as public education of defeating stigma and prioritizing mental healthcare as a media contributor.

Suzanne Lind, MD - Suzanne Lind, MD is excited to be an associate program director for Prime Health. She has dual board certifications in both general psychiatry as well as child and adolescent psychiatry. Dr. Lind first got involved in teaching medical students when she was the chair of the Department of Psychiatry of St. Peter's Medical Center in New Brunswick, NJ and provided a third year clerkship rotation for Drexel Medical School. She has supervised many medical students, residents (both in and out of psychiatry), psychiatry fellows, APNs and social workers. Dr. Lind brings a plethora of knowledge from having worked in many diverse places: in-patient, outpatient, consult-liaison, day hospital, long-term care and forensic facilities. Her goal is to help residents become excellent clinicians, help them determine what direction they would like to take their future psychiatric careers and achieve those goals as well as mentoring the residents to develop work/life balances.

Dr. Lind majored in neuroscience at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and then attended Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, NJ. After spending her PGY 1 year also at Robert Wood Johnson, Dr. Lind completed her PGY2 and 3 years at Thomas Jefferson University Medical Hospital in Philadelphia. She then completed a 2-year Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU.

3. Residents

PGY-2

Amy De Silva, MD - My name is Amy De Silva, I am currently a PGY 2 psychiatry resident What I really love about our program is that because it is new, there is ample opportunities for growth and advancement of the program, connecting with our faculty staff on a 1:1 basis, comprehensive clinical exposure, and just working with hard working and humble people. I’m currently figuring out what fellowship I want to apply to, since I like everything! A random fun fact about me is that I’m big on video games and love spas.

Mehreen Ahmed DO - I was born and raised in New York City. I received a full tuition scholarship to Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Queens College and majored in Neuroscience and Psychology with a minor in Anthropology. While in college, I conducted research assessing the effects of fear on orientation sensitivity. Furthermore, I fostered a supportive relationship and provided guidance for an unhomed child through weekly leisure and educational activities through the Big Buddy Program. After graduation, I tutored students from kindergarten through 7th grade in math and reading in preparation for standardized assessments. I graduated from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine where I volunteered in health fairs, as a tutor and a student ambassador. One thing I truly value about this residency program is the supportive faculty who are always available for guidance and mentorship in both professional and personal aspects of life.

Mona Ershadi MD - What intrigues me most about psychiatry is a unique field where you build long-term humanistic relationships with your patients and complexity of the human mind and how certain chemical imbalances in the brain can lead to different mental disorders. In NJ Prime health care psychiatry residency program residents receive exposure to a wide range of psychiatric pathology and patient populations. Faculty members are very approachable. Everyone that I encountered at St Clare health hospital was very friendly and approachable. I am a nature person and enjoy Camping and hiking, cooking, dancing, traveling, watching classic movies, and reading philosophical literature, spending time with family and friends.

Avinash Puchalapalli MD - I grew up in the Midwest and went to college at Penn State. I graduated from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. My professional interests include adult inpatient psychiatry, the application of technology in psychiatry, Veterans population, PTSD, psychosomatic medicine and advocacy. My Favorite thing about program: Attendings and ability to shape the program. In my free time I enjoy home cooked meals, restaurants, hiking, museums, the outdoors, and astrophysics.

Douglas Lee DO -​
Hometown: Queens, NY
Medical school: NYITCOM
Professional Interests: inpatient, Child and Adolescent, ECT, general
Favorite thing about the program: I love our close-knit, supportive community from program leadership to co-residents. Everyone is here to help each other out, make our time both educational + enjoyable, and advocate for our experience.
Hobbies: New York Knicks, pick-up basketball, working out, rap and indie music concerts, good Twitter threads

Yoness Darouchi MD -
Medical School: Ross University School Of Medicine
Professional Interests: Inpatient, Pediatrics
Favorite thing about the Program: Learning from brilliant minds & top quality staff
Hobbies: Football, Judo, Boxing, Cooking, Construction, Film, Schutzhund competitions

PGY-1

Rassam Khan, MD - I am a local New Jerseyian and I am excited to be part of the Saint Clare’s psychiatry residency program. I have enormous passion for psychiatry and have participated in various Psychiatric research projects and publications at Mount Sinai, Rutgers NJMS, New Bridge Medical Center and NYU. I have been part of 9 poster presentations presented at World Psychiatric Associations (WPA) and American Psychiatric Associations (APA). Since joining the team at Saint Clare’s, it has been a family structured program, we all work as a team and learn. The faculty has been there for each one of us at every moment needed. There is one on one exposure with dedicated faculty and that helps learning be efficient and fun. Weekly informative didactics, case reports and journal clubs adds to the experience. I am grateful for the opportunity given to me in joining this residency team and look forward to continue my journey with passion for mental wellness. Having rotations at 3 different facilities has given me a chance to deal with diverse populations and variability in psychopathology. We are an exponentially growing residency program and I am fortunate to be part of that academic and clinical growth. Our feedback is greatly appreciated in structuring the program. In my free time I like watching movies, trying different restaurants and hanging out with friends.

Sruthi Madhava MD - I was born in India, but raised in Pittsburgh, PA (go Steelers!). I got my medical degree from M.S. Ramaiah Medical College in India. During medical school I realized the importance of mental health and the growing need for psychiatrists all over the world especially in underserved areas. I hope to go into women’s health or child and adolescent psychiatry in the future. There are various aspects I love about this program the main one being the amazing co-residents and staff that are here to support me. Though it’s a new program the behavioral hospitals have been around for a long time and there is always a great patient load to learn from. As a new resident I loved the independence I was allowed early on. I got to learn a lot from the faculty and co-residents even though it’s only been a short time. Hobbies: you can find me strolling though instagram to find a new recipe to bake during my downtime. Apart from that I love watching crime documentaries!

Stephanie Lee DO - My name is Stephanie, PGY1 Psychiatry resident. I love psychiatry because I see it as a different type of medicine. Although there are guidelines, psychiatry is more of an art because no two patients will have the same response to treatment. Therefore, coming up with a treatment plan for a patient requires an individualized and holistic approach. I chose this program because I was fortunate enough to rotate here as a medical student. While rotating, I saw that the program provided a small yet encouraging and supportive environment. I also liked that all the attendings were approachable and attentive to the input from their residents. Hobbies: Playing with Gom, my 12 year old pitbull.

Isaac Abraham DO - Hi I'm Isaac. I've been in the northeast for the majority of my academic career. I was in NJ for high school, PA for college, Long Island for medical school at NYITCOM and now back in NJ for residency. During that time I have been involved in research for Congenital Heart Disease, Wolff-Parkinson-White, Marfan Syndrome, cancer genome studies, and medication adherence. I also have produced two mobile applications and an algorithm that facilitates day trading. In my free time, I like to exercise, try new restaurants, read, play video games, and spend a significant amount of time scouring all the streaming services for something to watch, and ultimately lamenting that there was nothing worthwhile. There are unique opportunities to avail of at this residency. It is a newer program that is open to feedback; we meet frequently and our suggestions are not only considered but also asked for. The program is smaller, allowing for close interaction with both your seniors and administrative faculty. Most importantly, the entire community, including directors, are easily accessible, attentive, and genuinely interested in your edification, creating an environment conducive to producing effective, competent psychiatrists.

John Amoroso MD - John was born and raised in the Tri-State Region, graduated cum lade with a BA in psychology from the University of Rhode Island. With an interest in psychiatry went on to obtain a medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). With a passion for behavioral health, John has been active in multiple roles. Professionally with EMS responding to behavioral emergencies. As a volunteer board member of NAMI Rockland with a focus on advocacy and legislative agendas to meet the demand for ongoing access to community-based mental health care. And academically as a board member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Nathan Kline Institute & Rockland Psychiatric Center. St. Clare’s behavioral health system would be a natural fit and a place I already call home. With a reputation, as individuals and families regularly put it, as “better than the rest,” Prime Healthcare was my first choice for residency and the right choice.

Sasank Isola MD - Sasank was raised in New Jersey and went to college at Penn State University. He earned his medical degree from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. Apart from his psychiatry rotations in medical school, Sasank fell in love with psychiatry after publishing papers on mental health issues and working as a Crisis Intervention Specialist at crisis hotlines in California and Missouri. During this period, he learned how to de-escalate acute mental health crises, providing him with crucial exposure to many mentally ill populations from all over the world, and an intimate glimpse into emotional pain at its most raw, unfiltered, and uncompromising, solidifying his commitment to mental health. His published work includes investigations into the viability of medical cannabis, the connection between schizophrenia and smoking, and the relationship between long-acting antipsychotics and recidivism rates in inpatient psychiatric patients. His areas of interest in psychiatry include interventional psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, and forensic psychiatry. He selected the St. Mary's and St. Clare's Psychiatry Residency program due to the friendliness and erudition of its faculty, its emphasis on resident wellness, and its commitment to raising public awareness about mental health and providing mental health care to underserved populations in the community. Sasank enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with his family.

Dario Astacio MD - Dario was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. He earned his medical degree, Magna Cum Laude from the Universidad Central Del Este, School of Medicine. He has been active in research such as Delusional parasitosis, Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome, and First Episode Psychosis, among other conditions. His long-term research goal includes Translational Research. That is, studying how new, evidence-based interventions that have proved to be effective for members of a majority group may have to be modified to be effective for traditionally underserved groups (e.g., low SES individuals, racial/ethnic minorities) and/or special populations (e.g., young children, mental patients). This residency has a very effective curriculum and the learning has been enormous. Hobbies: Playing and watching basketball. He loves jazz music and plays piano, bass guitar and acoustic guitar.

List of Faculty

  • Sarabjit Singh, MD
  • Suzanne Melissa Lind, MD
  • Domenick J Sportelli, DO
  • Trevor Forbs MD
  • Paul Roberts, MD
  • James Varrell, MD
  • Suman Jalan MD
  • Jay Shah, MD
  • Michael Bell MD
  • Mehtab Khan MD
  • Damien Chiodo MD
  • Padmavathy Kurra MD
  • Gaurav Vishnoi MD

4. Curriculum

The Psychiatry curriculum provides general care and subspecialty experience through lectures, conferences, and a mix of experience with primary and tertiary patients. This residency provides multiple didactic conferences to fulfill the recommendations of the ACGME. Our curriculum responds to the dynamic mental healthcare needs of patients and society. Here is an outlook of the 4 years of residency:

PGY-1 = Inpatient Psychiatry= 6 months Neurology= 2 months Internal Medicine= 4 months

PGY-2 = Subspecialties= Child and Adolescent, Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES), Addiction, Geriatrics, Forensics, Inpatient Psychiatry (PICU)

PGY-3 = Outpatient Psychiatry

PGY-4 = Wide array of Electives including but not limited to Administrative Psychiatry, Telehealth, Advocacy etc Research, Outpatient

5. Mentorship

We have an advisory and mentoring program headed by Dr. Singh, Dr. Sportelli and Dr. Lind. Every intern receives a program advisor and mentor to serve as his/her advocate. We meet monthly for wellness checks and discussions of the rotations. This faculty member will assist in your learning and development as a psychiatrist. The mentorship program nurtures both personal and professional growth. Its goal is to strike the ideal balance between clinical autonomy and structural learning for each resident.

6. Committees

Active participation of residents in: wellness committee, peer review committee, quality assurance committee, clinical competency committee, and program evaluation committee

Frequently Asked Questions

How many letters of recommendation do you require with each application?
Minimum three; at-least one in Psychiatry

Does your program participate through ERAS?
Yes, applications are only accepted through ERAS. Remind about match participation

What is your cut off score in USMLE Steps 1&2 for accepting applications?
We do not have an official score cut off. We look at the applicant as a whole including experiences, research and interest in Psychiatry.

Would having passed USMLE Step 3 benefit me in any way?
Yes, passing STEP 3 is required for moving into PGY-2 to PGY-3, so having passed the exam will be considered. It is not a requirement to apply.

Do you sponsor visas for IMG's?
We sponsor J1 visas.

Do you consider year of graduation in accepting applications?
We highly encourage continued clinical and research work, affiliations with institutions, evidence of strong interest in psychiatry.

Contact Information

Clinical Coordinator:
Dr. Oluwatosin Odefemi, Ed.D, MBA
Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health 130 Powerville Road Boonton, NJ 07005
Phone: 973-316-1955 | oodefemi@primehealthcare.com

Administrative Assistant:
Janet Forte
Saint Clare’s Behavioral Health 130 Powerville Road Boonton, NJ 07005
Janetforte@primehealthcare.com | 973-316-1964