Psychiatry Residency Program

Message from the Director

I am delighted to introduce you to the newest psychiatry residency training program in South Carolina. Orangeburg is located in the Midlands about 40 miles from the capital city of Columbia and 75 miles from the coastal city of Charleston. What follows on this website is information that you will find helpful for decision-making. I would underscore the distinctives of this program as being more rural, inquiry-oriented, community-based, and spiritually-integrated. Our residents will have a solid experience in the simultaneous treatment of addiction and other psychiatric disorders. We emphasize a careful formulation in addition to diagnosis. Our treatment approach is likewise multi-dimensional and comprehensive. We teach that evidence-based practice is where research, clinical experience, and patient preference intersect. Our faculty will strive to assist you in the search for answers, encourage faith, and understand relationships. Importantly, once you complete training there will be myriad employment opportunities for meeting the mental health needs of all South Carolinians supported by a network of psychiatric colleagues and friends. I hope to see you soon!

About the Program

The TCCADA psychiatry training program sits within the larger state Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Service (DAODAS). It is one of 31 treatment centers across the state. Other primary affiliations of the TCCADA psychiatry training program include the MUSC Health-Orangeburg, Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center, and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. These partners expose residents to the broader context of both regional and state mental health care. The mental health centers and hospitals of SCDMH collaborate with other agencies that simultaneously serve those with mental illness such as the Department of Social Services (DSS), South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD), local schools, detention centers, courts, and homeless shelters.

Sponsoring and Partnering Institutions

The Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCCADA) is a private, not-for-profit healthcare delivery system committed to medical excellence through comprehensive programs on substance abuse prevention, education, intervention, treatment, and rehabilitation for the benefit of the citizens (population 115,000) in Orangeburg, Bamberg, and Calhoun Counties. It is associated with the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), the South Carolina government agency charged with ensuring quality services to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions. To ensure the availability and quality of a continuum of substance use services, DAODAS coordinates a statewide system of local substance abuse agencies that provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services. DAODAS provides strategic direction and corporate services to its affiliates, including the Tri-County Commission with the Dawn Center and the William J. McCord Treatment Facility as the primary clinical sites.

Telepsychiatry is a system resource that will allow for residents to consult remotely to the wider systems of care. The TCCADA has developed a regional therapist network with credentialed expertise for the purpose of collaboration and coordinated holistic care. Because those with substance use disorders are more likely than not to have a co-occurring acute psychiatric condition, and because treatment outcomes are much improved with the simultaneous treatment of these co-occurring disorders, the Tri-County Commission recognizes the essential need to partner with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) in providing effective and comprehensive psychiatric care. Thus the participating sites include the Orangeburg Area Mental Health Center which provides mental health services to people of all ages, offering crisis intervention, individual, group, and family counseling, psychiatric assessment, medication management, and various support services. The SCDMH inpatient sites include Morris Village (the only hospital for substance use disorders in South Carolina), Bryan Psychiatric Hospital (adult psychiatric facility), and the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute with 50 inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric beds. Also, participating is MUSC Health-Orangeburg with 286 staffed beds (16 bed Geropsychiatry Unit), an Emergency Department, Neurology service, outpatient psychotherapy, and primary care with 8,111 discharges per year.

The TCCADA facilities are licensed and certified by Department of Health and Environmental Control Health Licensing (DHEC) and accredited by the Joint Commission. The services of TCCADA are intended for and dedicated to prevention and education regarding the conditions of alcoholism, drug dependence and substance abuse. The ultimate concern is with overall health, happiness, and well-being of those suffering directly or indirectly from alcohol and other drug problems. The authority of TCCADA is vested in the Commission, which is made up of board members appointed by the Governor. The board members, who serve without pay, appoint the Executive Director who is responsible for overall administration of philosophy and polices and the general coordination of all projects within the agency.

TCCADA has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) as an official teaching institution. The Designated Institutional Official, who appoints and overseas the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), reports directly to the Executive Director. The TCCADA Medical Staff accepts responsibility for assuring supervision of all resident educational activities including patient care. Through its by-laws, the TCCADA Medical Staff will delegate this responsibility to The Office of Graduate Medical Education, which fulfills this responsibility through its full time and volunteer faculty teaching staff.


The Mission of the Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCCADA) Psychiatry Residency Program is to train excellent clinicians who:

  • Comprehensively evaluate, understand, and treat psychiatric disorders using biopsychosocial, cultural, spiritual, and developmental models
  • Deftly and simultaneously treat substance use disorders with comorbid psychiatric conditions
  • Integrate research and discovery within clinical practice
  • Pursue self-appraisal, individual development, interprofessionalism, and leadership
  • Teach enthusiastically and model life-long learning

TCCADA Residency Overview

The Tri-County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCCADA) Psychiatry Residency Program is a 4-year ACGME accredited training program with 10 residents per year at the McCord Center for Psychiatry in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The program is administered by a program director, associate PD, and six additional core faculty, along with assistance from community physicians and licensed mental health care professionals.

The focus of the TCCADA Psychiatry Residency Program is the training and retention of psychiatric physicians to address the current and ongoing provider shortages in this critical medical specialty, especially in rural areas of South Carolina. Integrating with substance use disorders programs and primary care while partnering with community providers of mental health services, will improve access to psychiatric care and reduce utilization of emergency and inpatient services. The integration model employs telepsychiatry to consult in real time with rural practices. There is also integration with other mental health care providers of social work, counseling, and psychology. A dedicated data analyst for the training program assists with value-based decisions, performance management, quality improvement, and research activities.


The program curriculum includes formal didactics for solid foundational knowledge in psychopathology and its treatment and comprehensive clinical experiences guided by a system of care philosophy that is culturally competent, community-based, individual and family focused. The breadth of experience and inquiry-based approach is designed to develop the tools, comfort, and cognitive flexibility to adapt to rapid changes in health care. Formulation from a biopsychosocial, cultural, spiritual, and developmental perspective is a key emphasis for clinical problem-solving and effective treatment.


In addition to family medicine and neurology, other rotations include community, addiction, geriatric, child and adolescent, reproductive, forensic, international, and administrative psychiatry. Residents have a continuous psychotherapy clinic for three years of training. To view the rotation block design, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Resident Benefits

We understand that having just graduated from medical school, many of our residents are on a tight budget. The TCCADA Psychiatry Residency Training Program offers a competitive salary in an environment with a moderate cost of living. In addition, our program offers several other benefits that help to stretch our trainee’s dollars just a little further.

Annual Salary (2023-2024)

  • PGY1: $57,000
  • PGY2: $58,000
  • PGY3: $61,000
  • PGY4: $63,000

Vacation/Paid Time Off

  • Accrued time off
  • Major Holidays

Student Loan Forgiveness Options

Moving Allowance

  • Up to $1,000 reimbursed

Educational Funds (In addition to salary)

  • PGY-1: $500 and iPhone
  • PGY-2: $1,000
  • PGY-3: $1,000
  • PGY-4: $1,500

Certification Courses

  • TCCADA provides at no cost to residents the courses required for a particular program, such as the BLS.


  • The South Carolina Medical Association offers free membership to each resident.

License, Registrations and Exams


  • Limited medical license application fees ($150) are paid by TCCADA. Limited medical license renewal fees ($150) continue to be paid by TCCADA throughout residency and/or fellowship.
  • Those residents/fellows interested in obtaining a S.C. permanently endorsed medical license will pay all fees and TCCADA will reimburse $150 each academic year toward the biennial (2-year) license.
  • S.C. permanently endorsed medical license renewal fees ($155 biennially) will be paid by TCCADA throughout residency and/or fellowship.


  • Narcotics registrations (State DEA $125 – for one-year period) will be paid by TCCADA for medical residents each year throughout residency and/or fellowship.
  • Narcotics registrations (Federal DEA $888 – for three-year period) will be paid upfront by TCCADA for medical residents but prorated based on expiration and graduation dates.


  • USMLE Step 3 or COMLEX Step 3 – All TCCADA residents are required to sit for the Step 3 exam within 18 months of starting residency. Incoming first year residents will be reimbursed up to $700 for their Step 3 exam. For osteopathic medical school applicants, we will consider the COMLEX in lieu of the USMLE.

Additional Benefits

  • Health Insurance
  • Enrollment in the SC State Retirement System
  • Cell phone and phone case provided to every incoming resident
  • Membership at the MUSC Health – Orangeburg Healthplex
  • Counseling, assessment, referral and education offered by AllOne Health
  • Program level activities designed to foster collaboration, support, and unity among residents and fellows
  • Lab coats
  • Free parking in designated areas
  • Travel

Orangeburg sits on the I-26 corridor with quick access to the beach, midlands, and mountains. Columbia International Airport is conveniently located nearby. In about one hour you can enjoy the sandy beaches and world class seafood in the historic, coastal city of Charleston.

Meet Our Residents

Sharanda KirkSharanda Kirk

Sharanda is joining us from Lumberton, NC. After attending UNC Chapel Hill, she attended medical school at Brody School of Medicine.

While my passion for medicine remains unwavering, I also embrace my inner adventurer, thriving as a fearless explorer and a green-thumb extraordinaire. With leafy companions and furry friends by my side, I eagerly embark on global escapades and channel my creativity into transforming living spaces into stylish sanctuaries. I also like to conjure up culinary delights that leave taste buds enchanted!</em

Isabel De LeonIsabel De Leon

Isabel is joining us from Florida State University College of Medicine.

I grew up in Lakeland, Florida. Outside of medicine, I enjoy spending time with my dog, going to movies/concerts, and exploring my local food scene. My professional interests include: Collaborative/Integrated Care, Gender/Sexuality and Health, Psychotherapy, and Recovery-Oriented Care in Psychiatry.

Christian AlfonsoChristian Alfonso

Christian was born and raised in South Florida where he attended Florida International University and University of Miami for his Bachelor’s in Biology and Master of Public Health, respectively before graduating from medical school at University of Illinois at Chicago.

I am an avid exercise and nature enthusiast and am deeply passionate about the intersection and interplay of physical and mental health. I am particularly interested in further developing and expanding a holistic approach to mental health that is informed by spirituality and the wisdom of ancient philosophy.

Max CarterMax Carter

Max is originally from Nashville, Tennessee. He attended Wake Forest University for undergrad then Wayne State University for medical school.

My hobbies include: Soccer, Running, Basketball and Traveling.

John PothenJohn Pothen

John grew up in Yorktown, Virginia. He graduated with an MD and PhD in Sociology from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Prior to that, he earned a bachelor’s in science from the College of William & Mary and spent a year in India as a Fulbright-Nehru research scholar. John is passionate about community psychiatry and thrilled to serve patients in Orangeburg, SC and across the state.

I’m also an avid cricket fan. I root for team India and for the Royal Challengers Bangalore!

Carly KeenanCarly Keenan

Carly is originally from Redwood City, California. She attended undergrad at Rochester Institute of Technology and medical school at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. Carly is excited about helping establish a new psychiatry residency training program in Orangeburg after spending her first three years of training in the Upstate of South Carolina.

I’m a bit of a nomad and I’ve lived in a number of different places including California, New York, New Mexico, and now South Carolina. I enjoy quilting, costume making, cooking, and gardening. I also love to travel and I’ve been to 45/50 states and 16 different countries.

Matthew Seth PetittMatthew Seth Petitt

Seth is a graduate of the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine. He spent his time in medical school initially interested in anesthesiology and pain medicine before falling in love with psychiatry in his 3rd year. Outside of the hospital, Seth has a strong background in clinical research: primarily in the fields of quality improvement and patient safety. After finishing residency, he intends to pursue a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry.

Beyond my professional pursuits, I enjoy trying new recipes at home, reading fantasy novels, and exploring the outdoors by hiking and camping. I dream of one day thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail.

John ClarkJohn Clark

John is originally from Sacramento, CA. John grew up loving to play guitar and became interested in psychology in high school. He went on to obtain his B.A. in psychology at NYU and completed his premedical courses at Scripps College. John graduated from George Washington University Medical School with a concentration in medical humanities.

Outside of medicine, my interests include basketball, music, and travelling.

Alexandria HurleyAlexandria Hurley

Alexandria joins us from Apex, North Carolina. She attended Duke University (BS in Biology and Medieval and Renaissance Studies) for undergraduate studies then Wake Forest School of Medicine.

I have lived in North Carolina my whole life, but I am excited about this new adventure in South Carolina. I love to read books, do needlework, and other fiber crafts. I hope to start making sourdough bread from an inherited starter and cakes from my ducks’ eggs. My friends affectionately refer to me as an old soul.

Alisa TrinhAlisa Trinh

Alisa was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She has been fascinated by the brain and mind since a young age. She obtained her BS in Neuroscience at University of Alabama at Birmingham and went on to earn her medical degree from University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

I am an adventurer at heart, always up to try and learn something new. I’ve jumped off the cliffs (into the ocean) of Santorini, canyon swung in the jungles of Nepal, and even snowboarded on an upside-down mountain in West Virginia. I dabble in the arts when I can – piano, cooking, crafting and painting.

Amanda RobinsonAmanda Robinson

Amanda was born in Philadelphia, Pa. However, she was raised and spent much of her life in the rural areas of South Carolina. She graduated from Aiken High School and obtained a Bachelor of Science at the University of South Carolina Aiken. Then she obtained her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina located in Charleston, SC.

I am thankful to remain close to family and close friends while I complete my medical training. I especially enjoy spending as much time as possible with my young nephews. I am a proud pet parent of a toy poodle, Miss Asia Monroe.

Application Process

TCCADA offers ten first year Categorical positions in psychiatry. The program participates in the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) psychiatry match and will complete interviews prior to the deadline for submission of the rank order list.

For 2023 we will be filling our positions through the NRMP Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP) process.

  • Applications for PGY-1 positions are only accepted through ERAS (Electronic Residency Application System). Candidates are encouraged to apply early, as interview slots are limited.
  • USMLE scores and number of attempts are taken into account as we evaluate the totality of the application.
  • International Medical Graduates with US clinical experience are welcome to apply.
  • Fluency in written and oral English is a requirement.
  • Letters of recommendation from US physicians are strongly preferred.
  • Preference is given to applicants who have graduated medical school or have completed another residency program within the past three years.

ERAS Requirements

  • Provide a transcript from your medical school, a dean’s letter and two letters of reference, at least one of which should be from a psychiatrist.
  • All applicants should have completed USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK & CS. No specific numerical scores are required.
  • For osteopathic medical school applicants, we require a COMLEX.

We delight in meeting prospective residents! Upon receipt and review of the above information, carefully chosen applicants will be invited to arrange a mutually convenient time for interviews. Final acceptance to the program is at the discretion of the chief medical officer and the residency training program director upon the advice of the Resident Selection Committee.

All interviewed candidates are reviewed by the Resident Selection Committee to complete the rank order list that is submitted to the NRMP. Successful applicants will be notified by NRMP match results followed by a letter from the program.

Initial appointment to the program is for one year and reappointment for each subsequent year is based on the resident’s performance.

Program Director

Dr. Pete Loper
Dr. Pete Loper is triple board certified in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina (USC), his Doctor of Medicine from the USC School of Medicine, and his Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Following pediatrics residency, Dr. Loper worked as a pediatrician while completing a second residency in psychiatry, a psychoanalytic fellowship program, and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. As faculty at USC School of Medicine, Columbia, he has served as the Director of Education for the psychiatry clerkship, Course Director for the ethics and professionalism series, and as a Senior Associate in the Office of Continuous Professional Development. He co-facilitated the Prisma Health-Midlands’ Physician Leadership Institute, and served as the Vice Chair of the Prisma Health Baptist Hospital Executive Committee. He is an executive leadership and development coach at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a graduate student coach in the Penn Med Ed Master Program.

Dr. Loper’s publications include pieces in JAMA, JAMA-Pediatrics, and Annals of Internal Medicine. His mental health and wellness advocacy has been featured in numerous national print outlets and TV, radio, and online media outlets to include Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Medscape, and MSN. A passionate educator, Dr. Loper has won multiple teaching awards to include the Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Medical Student Education, the Teacher of the Year Award for the Child Psychiatry Fellowship Program, the Teacher of the Year Award for the General Psychiatry Residency Program, the Psychiatry Clerkship Director’s Medical Student Educator Award, and the Outstanding Clinical Preceptor Award for the Physician’s Assistant Program. He has been nominated as a finalist for the USC School of Medicine’s Clinical Teacher of the Year Award as well as the O’Neil Barrett Award for Teaching Excellence in Clinical Sciences.

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest in the TCCADA Psychiatry Residency Training Program. We look forward to receiving your complete application through ERAS for consideration. If your questions have not been answered by viewing this website, please contact us at Best regards!

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