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Nyapati Rao and Francis Lu International Medical Graduate (IMG) Fellowship

Submission Deadline: September 17


International Medical Graduates (IMGs) are a substantial portion of the psychiatric workforce and occupy a significant percentage of residency positions in psychiatry. While IMGs often have extensive medical experience in their home countries, many are new to the U.S. graduate and post-graduate medical education systems, the U.S. medical culture, and to the diverse cultural groups represented in the U.S. As a result, they are faced with the intersecting challenges of professional, personal, and family acculturation. Over the years, many IMGs have made major contributions to research, administration, and clinical service, and now serve in the highest levels of organized and academic psychiatry.

The Nyapati Rao and Francis Lu International Medical Graduate (IMG) Fellowship is designed to promote the professional growth of exceptional IMG psychiatry residents/fellows with leadership potential, particularly those interested in resident education.The Fellowship is named after two distinguished educators, advocates and leaders.

Nyapati Rao, MD, is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Stony Brook University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in New York. He is a former Training Director and was AADPRT’s IMG Caucus Chair for many years. He has advocated for the training needs of IMG physicians in psychiatry and written numerous articles on IMG issues including acculturation, clinical-skills verification process for IMGs, immigration policies and “Perspectives on Screening and Interviewing IMGs for Psychiatry Residency Training Programs” to name a few. He has been a prominent figure in the culture of American psychiatry, mentoring not only IMGs but also USMGs.

Francis Lu, MD, is the Luke and Grace Kim Endowed Professor in Cultural Psychiatry, Emeritus at UC Davis. Although not an IMG, he has been an ally and advocate for IMGs being integral contributors to the American health system. He has served on the IMG Fellowship Committee since its inception in 1996 and been involved with the AADPRT IMG Caucus for years advancing its presence in diversity and inclusion initiatives.  One of his passions is film and he has integrated cultural issues using film in education. He is a mentor to many of us training directors.

Fellowships will be awarded to up-to-five outstanding applicants. Winners will be invited to attend the AADPRT Annual Meeting at AADPRT's expense. The IMG Fellowship application requires a proposal for an education innovation project (e.g., didactic curriculum/course/session, clinical experience/rotation, resident/faculty development, mentorship, career development, equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, etc.). The selection process will evaluate the proposed project based on background and gap analysis, goals, approach/methodology, evaluation/outcomes, and dissemination plan. Awardees will be assigned an AADPRT mentor with whom they will work throughout the year on the project and be encouraged to submit their work as a poster or workshop at an annual meeting of one of the major psychiatric organizations, or the submission of an article to a peer-reviewed journal). Mentors will be psychiatrists who have made valuable contributions to the field as educators, researchers, clinicians, and administrators, and who have met many of the challenges the IMG fellows may encounter.


The objectives of the fellowship include enhancing the trainees':

Familiarity with national psychiatric residency training issues and understanding of U.S. and medical cultures
Expansion and integration of professional networks
Consolidation of professional identity and career development plans while contributing towards advocacy of Psychiatry as a field
Leadership skills and ability to serve as a role model for other IMGs
Teaching abilities and promotion of IMG initiatives and studies, especially pertaining to education
Capacity to design, implement, evaluate, and disseminate an education innovation project

Nomination Guidelines

The candidate must:

Be in an approved residency or fellowship program
A PGY 1, 2, 3, CAP1 fellows and PGY 4s committed to a fellowship during which time the project can be completed.

The institution:

May submit only one (1) nomination per eligible year (e.g. institutions may not submit a general residency nomination and a subspecialty nomination, or multiple subspecialty nominations).


Institutions whose nominees have received AADPRT/IMG Fellowships are ineligible to nominate candidates for the next two (2) nomination cycles (e.g. if submitted in fall of 2022 (won in 2023), the institution may not submit another IMG application until fall of 2025).

Nomination Process

Nomination must include:

  1. Completed online form (View Sample Submission Form). The online nomination system is open to Training Director Members only. Training directors and institutions of residents submitting nominations must be members in good standing with AADPRT (i.e., current institution and individual membership dues must be paid).
  2. The following documents uploaded as one PDF.

  • Nomination letter from training director. Letter should include an assessment of the resident’s excellence in patient care, potential as a leader and advocate, interest and excellence in education/teaching as well as information regarding resources for mentoring in your program and how this fellowship program can benefit the applicant. The letter should include approval to attend the AADPRT Annual Meeting and the program’s commitment to support the applicant in carrying out the proposed education innovation project. Nomination Letter Sample (No more than 2 pages, single spaced, 12-point arial font, 1-inch margins; references may be on a separate page.)
  • Candidate’s Statement of Interest outlining their academic, teaching, and leadership achievements, career aspirations, and how the fellowship program and the education project will promote their professional growth. (No more than 1 page, single spaced, 12-point arial font, 1-inch margins).
  • Education Innovation Project Proposal (No more than 2 pages, single spaced, 12-point arial font, 1-inch margins; references may be on a separate page) that outlines:
               - Title
               - Background (including problem statement and local gap/needs analysis),
               - Goals (that are feasible and address the local gap/need)
               - Approach/Methodology (e.g., stakeholders, context/participants,
               - Evaluation (including outcomes and measures)
               - Plan for dissemination (e.g., poster, workshop, journal article).
                 The project can be new or in progress.
  • Candidate’s Curriculum Vitae

A confirmation email will be sent TO THE SUBMITTER ONLY (training director) when the complete electronic submission is received. If the training director does not receive confirmation within two business days, send an email to All requests for confirmation must be received before the deadline. Materials will not be accepted or considered after the deadline.

Selection Process

The IMG Fellowship Committee consists of seven AADPRT members representing various regions.  The committee will select up to five fellows from the seven regions. The two regions with the fewest applicants will be combined with other regions to create 5 groups of comparable size from which to select the fellowship winners.

Applications will be evaluated in the following areas:

  1. Excellence in patient care
  2. Potential as a leader, advocate and role model, especially about IMG issues
  3. Excellence and interest in teaching/education
  4. Quality of statement of interest
  5. Quality of the education innovation project proposal

Evaluation bonus points are given to residents and fellows coming from smaller programs with fewer resources for mentorship. As an educational organization, AADPRT gives preference to applicants with an interest in education.

Each item is 5-point likert scale (strongly disagree, disagree, neither disagree or agree, agree, strongly agree) (up to 50 points)

The applicant has very strong potential as leader, advocate, and role model

The applicant has demonstrated excellence in teaching

Statement of Interest:
The applicant clearly outlines their academic, teaching and leadership achievements, career aspirations, and how the fellowship program will promote their professional growth.

Project Proposal (up to 30 points):

  1. The background has a clear problem definition and local gap/needs analysis.
  2. The goals are feasible and address the local gap/need.
  3. The approach specifies the context/participants, involves appropriate stakeholders, and utilizes  sound pedagogy and evidence-based content in its proposed intervention.
  4. The evaluation plan defines relevant and feasible outcomes and measures.
  5. The plan for dissemination is realistic and appropriate.
  6. Overall, the project proposal is outstanding.

Applicant comes from smaller program with fewer resources for mentorship.


Submission Deadline: September 17



Virtual Recruitment Fairs

AADPRT will once again host virtual recruitment fairs to connect medical students with psychiatric residency training programs.

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