Mclean Hospital

Student Opportunities

McLean Hospital has educational opportunities for college graduates, medical students, and students at Harvard University.


College Graduates

The Simches Center of Excellence in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at McLean Hospital offers a two-year Post-Baccalaureate Clinical (PBac) Fellowship Program for college graduates interested in pursuing a career in mental health. This guided, entry-level professional experience is shaped by the four pillars of McLean Hospital’s mission: excellence in clinical care, groundbreaking state-of-the-art scientific investigation, training the next generation of mental health professionals, and serving the hospital and our communities.

Led by Fairlee C. Fabrett, PhD, the PBac Fellowship Program includes a two-year, full-time paid position as a community residence counselor in one of the following programs:

  • McLean-Fransiscan Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program and McLean-Fransiscan Community Based Acute Treatment Program for children 4-14 years old
  • 3East Cambridge Transitional Residence, a program for women 21 and older, focusing on community reintegration, guidance in everyday life, and transition to adulthood
  • 3East Girls Intensive and Step-Down Programs, specialized residential care for female adolescents struggling with self-injury, emotion dysregulation, and suicidal ideation
  • 3East Boys Instensive Program, a specialized residential program for male adolescents also struggling with emotion dysregulation, self-injury, and suicidal ideation
  • McLean SouthEast Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment Program, for teens 13-19 years old who struggle with everyday functioning, such as going to school, difficulty maintaining friends, sadness, substance misuse, etc.
  • OCDI Jr., a specialized residential program for children 10-17 who have a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder

While the programs share the mission of caring for children, adolescents, and their families, each has a different approach to treatment and set of interventions based on the population and diagnoses they treat. For instance, the 3East programs use dialectical behavioral therapy as their main mode of treatment, while OCDI Jr. utilizes exposure and response prevention therapy. Other programs use a variety of trauma-focused interventions, cognitive behavioral strategies, anxiety interventions, and more. Each program also has a different set of expectations and schedules. For example, fellows working at OCDI Jr. tend to work day shifts, while McLean SouthEast fellows tend to work evening shifts and fellows at Franciscan have overnight shifts.

Fellows are considered for either a two-year intensive experience in a single program or two one-year rotations in two different programs. Fellows apply to the track they are interested in, either intensive or rotating.

The accepted fellows attend one week of orientation with topics covering the different levels of care in a mental health environment, understanding how to work with a multidisciplinary team, essentials of group therapy, crisis management, professional boundaries and ethics, and basics of cognitive behavior therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, exposure response prevention therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy. Once placed with a program, fellows participate in training and supervision along with other program colleagues. In addition, fellows join in a monthly professional development and education seminar consisting of clinical supervision and training tailored to the year in the fellowship.

Learning in year one emphasizes understanding the “here and now” of the clinical service environment. Fellows learn from world-renowned clinicians about different therapy modalities, therapeutic strategies, and diagnoses (depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, attention deficit disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder). There are also seminars conducted by McLean staff on topics such as child development, ethics and boundaries, success as a young professional, as well as quality improvement research being conducted in various settings.

Learning in year two focuses on careers and professional opportunities in a broader context such as the various clinical degrees, law and mental health professions, health research, public health and policy, and technology and psychiatry. Fellows also receive guidance on career options and support around graduate school applications, including earned recommendations.

Finally, fellows provide service to McLean and/or the community at large via a partnership with the Office of Public Affairs. They will participate in, or even help plan, events in coordination with the NAACP, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and McLean’s own nationally recognized Deconstructing Stigma project—to name just a few of the exciting opportunities.

How to Apply

Applicants interested in the 2021-2023 fellowship should submit a current curriculum vitae, letter of interest, and one letter of recommendation from a faculty member. Please specify in the cover letter to indicate application to the rotating track or the intensive track.

Applications are due by January 30, 2021. Apply online.

For more information, please contact Fairlee C. Fabrett, PhD.


Medical Student Education

McLean Hospital offers opportunities for medical students interested in pursuing elective studies in psychiatry.

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School (HMS) students interested in an elective at McLean Hospital may learn more on the HMS website. For more information, please contact the HMS Registrar or contact John B. Roseman, MD, director of Medical Student Education at McLean.

Non-HMS Medical Student

Students from other medical schools may apply for an advanced fourth year elective at McLean Hospital through the Harvard Medical School Registrar. HMS does not offer elective opportunities for non-HMS students prior to the fourth year of medical school.

International Medical Students

Students from international schools may learn more regarding the exchange program for international medical students on the HMS website.


Harvard Student Opportunities

Harvard University offers a number of programs which can be fulfilled via McLean Hospital.

The Scholars in Medicine Program allows students to carry out a faculty mentored scholarly project as a graduation requirement.

The Program in Neuroscience, a PhD training opportunity, provides students with the instruction, research experience, and mentoring they need to become leaders in research and education.

Harvard College undergraduate students may coordinate an independent study at McLean.

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